spare parts

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

-Hugo Cabret, from the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret

For those of you who have seen the movie, you’ll recognize the quote.  It’s an absolutely wonderful moment, where you realize what you are watching is so much more than just entertainment.  Depth is established.  For those who haven’t…it’s probably going to rack up an Oscar or two, so maybe take a look at it.  The book itself was a Caldecott winner back in 2008, I believe.  If you are unfamiliar with that name…it’s the highest award for children’s picture literature.  Okay, enough with the plug already.

The other day on my Twitter timeline (@mobylive), I noticed a particular post.  The parties I’ll leave anonymous, but the update was something along the lines of ‘headed to the hospital for XYZ and would appreciate any spare prayers.’  On the surface, not such a big deal, but it got me thinking…”Do I have any prayers to spare?

The word spare, when used as an adjective (according to means:

14.  kept in reserve, as for possible use: a spare part.
15.  being in excess of present need; free for other use: sparetime
16. frugally restricted or meager, as a manner of living or adiet: a spare regime.
17.  lean or thin, as a person.
18.  scanty or scant, as in amount or fullness.

Hmmm…so choose your selection of definition to place in front of the word prayer, and re-read the above statement.  Now, before it sounds like I am splitting hairs, or being some otherwise form or jerk, I’m fairly confident based upon this party’s history, they were just asking for prayer about XYZ.  I get that.  But why throw in the word spare?

I’m not a fan of spare parts.  It implies failure.  It implies less than forever, or at least less than what I need.  I have a spare tire on my truck.  This is because I know at some point my tires will fail.  Is that what spare prayers are?  Prayers saved for a do-over when our original prayers fail?  Or do we choose the “in excess” definition, meaning we have prayers we aren’t using because everything is good and we have it covered.  If this was your selection, let me direct you to the description of the Church of Laodicea in Revelations 3:17 –

You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Listen, maybe it’s all just semantics.  Maybe I’m being too critical.  Or maybe it’s something to think about it.  To believe that any part of our relationship with God could be spare, is completely contrary to everything I have grown to know about Him.  I need more and more, never acquiring enough, never attaining any position in, always receiving grace to live, ever in need of His mercy and love.  There is nothing spare about God.  Everything He is…it’s what are goal should be.  Everything He has given…a place in our lives and hearts should be reserved for.  I can’t imagine it being any other way.

How about you?

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