Neglect can be a costly act

Published 1:23 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Life has those days where you start out with plans but then something happens that completely changes your direction. This past Monday was one of those days for me. 


Monday is usually my day off as Sunday is a very busy day for me. My plan was to spend this past Monday doing my schoolwork and catching up on a few things around the house. One of my tasks was to start some vehicles that we haven’t driven in quite a while. We have my 1975 CJ-5 Jeep which has been in my family for over thirty years. Last year, my father-in-law gave me his 1998 Ford Ranger because he could no longer push in the clutch to change gears; it is a treasure because it is a gift from him. We also have an SUV that we have owned since 2006.  

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I assumed the batteries would be dead but thought, hey, I will give them a try anyway. When I attempted to start the truck, as I suspected, the engine did not turn over. I popped the hood latch to access the battery so it could be boosted. When I raised the hood I discovered chewed wires laying on top of the motor and that the insulation on the underside of the hood had been shredded. I immediately thought, are the other vehicles okay? 


Moving to the SUV, I was shocked when I opened the hood. There were literally hundreds of acorns, gobs of small sticks, and some kind of critter’s nest made out of the insulation, wires and tubes piled on and around the motor. After a moment of disgust, I thought ‘What am I going to find when I open the hood on the Jeep?’ 


Fortunately, the Jeep was in better condition. There was some damage but it was small. Four of the spark plug wires had been chewed off but that was an easy fix. After replacing the wires, the Jeep started with no problem. It ended up needing a new battery but that was to be expected given the age of the old battery. 


We surveyed the truck but saw no immediate place where the chewed wires came from. After we connected the truck to another vehicle to start it, we began testing the different functions of the truck. Not long into these tests, we found what the wires went to. The critters had completely chewed off the leads going to the passenger side headlight. This was minor damage but still something that needed to be repaired. The truck also needed a battery but everything else worked great.    


We were not so fortunate with the SUV. My friend Scott and I worked for several hours removing acorns and debris from around the motor compartment. This required a shop vac and air hose but was no easy task even with these aids. There seemed to be no end to the number of acorns these creatures had stored under the hood. I couldn’t believe it. The more we removed, the more we found. The battery was dead, as I suspected, so I made a trip, one of many that day, to the auto parts store to purchase a battery. 


While replacing the battery we found another nest behind the battery chamber. The critters chewed on the fan blade, severed some vacuum hoses, tore grommets that hold the finder well together, and destroyed the windshield wiper fluid hoses. We were able to get the SUV to turn over but it would not start so we had to get it towed to the shop. A few days later the mechanic sent me a picture of a large pile of acorns he had also removed from the SUV.  At the writing of this article, the SUV is still in the shop being worked on. 


We worked until about 7:30 Monday night on those vehicles and with still more repairs needed, I was frustrated and aggravated at myself for allowing this to happen. This was not the fault of the critters; they only took advantage of a dry place. Obviously, it wasn’t the fault of the autos; they are only machines. The blame was mine! I had neglected these vehicles and my negligence will cost us a couple thousand dollars. This could have been avoided had I only given the attention needed to take care of the vehicles. Neglect can be a costly act.                


There are some things that, when neglected, cannot be repaired. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter two verses one through 3, “For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” 

Neglecting salvation, in the end, will cost way more than anticipated and cannot be reversed. Neglecting to receive the free gift of salvation is more vital than taking care of automobiles. “I’ll do it later in life” won’t hold up when you breathe your last breath. “I’m a good person” won’t bring you salvation. Life is fragile and neglecting to address your spiritual situation may result in the opportunity to make a decision for Christ being missed. Just like our automobiles, our spiritual life has consequences when it is neglected. 


Make sure you don’t neglect the salvation offered by Jesus; it will have eternal consequences.