Preventative Maintenance

There a story about a monastery that was perched high on a cliff in Europe.  It was several hundred feet in the air.  They only way to reach the monastery was in a basket… pulled to the top by several monks by a rope over a pulley.  The ride to the top was not relaxing. This was especially true for one visitor who, about half way up, noticed that the rope was not in the best of condition – it was old and frayed.  Once he reached the top he asked how often they changed the rope.  After a moment of thought one monk finally said, Whenever it breaks.

Hmmm, whenever it breaks. I guess I will never be visiting that monastery!

When did the prodigal son in Luke 15 finally go home to his father?   He went home when he was broke!  He went home after all his money was gone.  He went home after all his friends were gone.  He went home after he was hungry, that is, very hungry.  He went home after spending time in a pig pen.

He went home after he broke.

When you break is a good time to go home… to return to the Father… to seek help and forgiveness.  But, actually, it is better to practice preventative maintenance.  Generally, we do that.  We usually buy gasoline before we run out.  We fix our car when we know something isn’t right before we are stranded by the side of the road.  We go to the doctor before getting deathly ill when we think something may be wrong and we are not feeling well. We practice preventative maintenance all the time.


There are things that we can do regularly to help us remain faithful to God. There are things we can do to pick us up and encourage us.  Read a chapter… say a prayer… spend the afternoon with a friend… get into the habit of worship…

Check your rope and see you in church!