Parts and Salvage Only

My friend, Dave, shared with me recently about the difference in selling a used car “as is” and “for parts and salvage only”. While Dave was concerned about being fair to customers and about personal integrity, the term “for parts and salvage only” got me thinking about how much of myself I am willing to give up to God on a daily basis. So, as odd as it might seem, I am thinking about my relationship with God in terms of the type of conditions under which a car is sold by a dealer.

A brand new car usually carries a manufacturer’s warranty that provides a guarantee to the seller. This guarantee is not unlimited, but at the time of purchase, the dealer and manufacturer are assuring the buyer that the car is in brand-new shape. Now, as cars age, they lose their newness and when it comes time to sell them again, a dealer of used cars may offer some type of limited warranty on the car. After a certain point, however, the car carries no manufacturer’s warranty. Normal wear and tear and the variability of care that different owners provide make it difficult for a car maker to carry a complete warranty over a lengthy period of time. Therefore, a limited warranty is sometimes provided to the buyer of a late model used car.

There is a next step in the lessening of warranties that are granted car buyers. After a time, cars are sold “as is”, meaning that the seller cannot guarantee the condition of the car and the buyer is agreeing to assume all responsibility for the condition of the vehicle. At this point, a dealer with integrity would encourage a potential buyer to have the car checked out or may offer a checklist of the current status of the car. Further on, as cars increase in age and wear, there comes a time where a dealer would sell a car “for parts and salvage only”. At this stage, the seller is informing the buyer that the car has enough challenges associated with it that the dealer, in good conscience, needs to inform the buyer that the car may only be worth buying for parts and its salvage value.

So, what does that have to do with my life in God? Well, this is the way I see it. I need to go to God on a daily basis and offer myself to God “for parts and salvage only”. I want to make my life so open to him that he has my permission to part my self out, sending ambitions, hopes, talents and commitments to whomever and whatever. I don’t want to make guarantees to God about the condition of my self, I want to acknowledge that with him as the owner/operator, he can choose to use me for whatever he deems appropriate. Indeed,making myself available for parts and salvage only also implies that I realize that God is the one to do the salvage work in my life and that I am realizing that my entire package my be so worn out that much salvage work must be done to get it back on track. One definition of salvage is, ” Something saved from destruction or waste and put to further use”. Am I willing to say to God, “put me to further use as you save me from destruction and further waste”? I don’t know. If I said that, I would be willing to admit that there is something about me that is wasted and destroyed. Hmm…

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One Comment on “Parts and Salvage Only”

  1. Stan Says:

    Your post reminds me of a era I went through during which I misunderstood the ideas of self-mortification (from mystics quietists) fleshly activity (Quakers) dying to self (holiness evangelists) complete surrender (evangelicals) etc. Somehow you managed to find a good balance in your efforts to be open to all God has for you and still avoid the shaming stuff. Very thought provoking. Thanks. Stan


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