There’s an old saying about warranties that goes something like this :
“As soon as the warranty expires, that’s when things break down.”
This, of course, is not always the case. Some things perform beautifully well beyond the life of a warranty. Some things, however, do not. For me, sadly, this was true. I noticed my vehicle running rough a little while back while accelerating. It wasn’t too bad, but being a 2017 model, I was a bit worried that it was a serious problem starting. I was was concerned that it wasn’t just normal wear and tear for a vehicle barely three years old. I was due for a safety/emissions inspection this month, so I had them check on this issue as well. As is my luck, things got bad fast. The “check engine” light came on as they were trying to diagnose the issue and a code for “fuel injector-cylinder 4” came up. The light wasn’t on when I drove it there, but came on during testing. Seems like a strange coincidence. The garage I use does not do fuel injector work and recommended I take it to a dealer as they believed it was likely covered by warranty anyway. And so I did.
After running diagnostics on the vehicle, they determined that I had a faulty fuel injector that needed to be replaced as it was causing my engine to misfire while accelerating. They then quoted me a price. I was a little confused about why they were telling me I had to pay for an engine component which should be covered by my warranty. I asked why my powertrain warranty didn’t cover it since it is a vital power component that delivers fuel to the engine. They said that powertrain warranties do not cover fuel injectors, but a basic bumper-to-bumper warranty would cover it. When I brought it in for service, I was at just under 38,000 miles. My bumper-to-bumper warranty expired at 36,000 miles. Had I brought it in a couple of months ago, I would have saved myself the $500 it cost to repair the issue.
This was not the first time I thought I had protection, only to find out I was mistaken. I used to have another warranty in my life. It made me feel safe and secure knowing that I had complete protection against tragedy and evil in the world. It was religion. It covered me from top to bottom, inside and out from now into eternity. No matter what happened to me in this life, I was covered. I had a bumper-to-bumper warranty that protected me regardless of what came my way. There was no expiration for this warranty…or so I thought. This product of religion, as with any other product, comes with fine print and legal jargon.
When you believe and follow the rules of religion (in my case, Christianity) you are covered and all is well. When bad things come your way, your warranty covers you…at least emotionally…uh…sometimes. You have to believe it. If you are a Christian and you lose a job, your warranty states that it is part of God’s plan and that you just need to remain faithful. You may not see the upside in this life, but it will all make sense in the next. If you lose a loved one, again, it is part of God’s plan. There is a lesson to be learned from it and you are still guaranteed to have protection and relief from your grief…even if you don’t feel like you do.
As long as you believe that the warranty is doing what it says it will do, you will always feel comfort having it. You feel invincible knowing that even if bad things happen, victory will ultimately be yours. God has your back and it’s all in writing. So what happens when your belief wavers? What happens when you start to lose faith? That’s when the exit clause you never knew was there kicks in and you’re left with the bill. God is no longer legally obligated to be part of your life. He’s free and clear to ignore you once again. He’s out.
You see, when you believe in God, he is real, he loves you and he does all sorts of wonderful things…at least that’s what you believe is happening. When you start to lose faith and question your beliefs, all of the wonderful things God does stop completely and your relationship with the Almighty dries up in an instant. Almost like they were never real to begin with. (wink, wink) The warranty only covers current, active believers. Those who lose faith are no longer covered by God’s love and affection and are no longer recognized by him whatsoever. The prayers that you were convinced were answered? Ignored. The signs in the world that pointed to the story being real? Not there. The peace and comfort from having a relationship with your creator? Gone. Instead you are left feeling alone and swindled by a salesperson who knew you would never read the fine print when you signed up.
I questioned the man from the dealership about my car’s warranty. He apologized and said there was nothing he could do. Everything he had in front of him on his computer said that I, the customer, was responsible for the bill in its entirety. Though I was sold a vehicle with a defective part, it was my responsibility to pay for its replacement. I argued with God much in the same way. I pleaded with him to give me back my faith. I argued that it was promised to me in writing that if I believed and followed, he’d be there. I argued that I did not want to lose my faith to begin with. I only wanted to grow closer to him and be a good son to my heavenly father. I argued that if I was asking to believe and to know him that he should wrap his arms around me and take me back. I was given nothing in return for my efforts. The church was no help either. They just pointed me to the Bible and told me to read the contract again.
Whether it’s a car or a religion, when you are sold a bad product and are told to just deal with it, you feel like a fool for placing your trust in another. You feel angry. You feel like the protective coverage you were promised should be honored and when it’s not, you get unbelievably frustrated. When your warranty expires just before your car has issues, it’s maddening. You feel like they must know just about when these parts start to fail and write the term length accordingly. The same with religion. Religions don’t set term lengths, but they word things in a way that no matter what happens (or when), nothing is covered. A loss of faith is not their problem. It’s yours. The fine print clearly indicates that blind faith is required to ensure coverage. Free-thinking and logic voids the contract and religion is no longer required to do anything for you.
What about extended warranties to cover the unforeseen? Those can be purchased in installment plans with payments due each Sunday in a collection plate. There is still nothing covered, but it might make you feel a little bit better. So many people know it’s a ripoff, but they are afraid of what might happen if they don’t buy it.