My attention was taken this week with the right to repair rule that has been given legal backing and which now requires manufacturers to make spare parts available for 10 years for washing machines, TVs and fridges. This will increase the life cycle of these products and effectively make it cheaper for us to own them. Importantly too it requires companies to manufacture justly, operating to standards of fairness and increasing responsibility towards the lifetime cost of a product. This has important beneficial impacts for the environment and it deals a blow to the previous ‘built-in obsolescence’ practice, whereby manufacturers deliberately built appliances to break down after a certain time, encouraging customers to buy new products.
This ruling puts the needs of the environment and the needs of the customer before the wants of business to make money at any cost. This will do away with the extravagance of throwing away things that otherwise could be repaired and restored. This news comes with the strapline: fix it not fling it and harkens back to my grandparent’s mindset of mend and make do. This seems wholly fair and right, given our need to safeguard resources and cut down on carbon emissions.
As I reflected on this item of good news I was reminded of a verse in Micah that I think acts as a mantra for living well after God’s ways:
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
We live well when we live justly with one another. Justice and integrity is the foundation of trust because it seeks fairness for all and puts the shared good of all above individual concerns.
We live well when we look out for the needs of one another, working together and acting with kindness. Being kind looks for the deeper good in situations and may cost us our preferences, our time and energy, or even money.
We live well mostly as we walk humbly with God. God is from everlasting to everlasting and he holds all things. Independence from God might sound attractive to some but if we are not living for God then we tend to live for personal gain at any cost. God’s ways are higher than ours and we know true freedom when we humble ourselves before God and allow him to lead us into the flourishing he longs for us all. What is more, God loves to walk with us - we don’t have to feel the burden of doing life solo.
As I finish, and returning to the idea of right to repair, let me tell you from experience that God is the master craftsman who has in his gift the desire and skill to transform and restore brokenness within us and within our communities. God gave his Son Jesus to draw us close, so that he can mend and smooth and rejuvenate us in his love.
I’ll finish with some lyrics from a song by Philippa Hanna called New for Old. They speak of Jesus’ sacrificial love that sees our eternal worth, looks to mend us and never gives up on us. We are always worthy of repair!
He blows the dust from off the surface
Traces each and every line
And with scarred and weathered fingers
Holds it up towards the light
He knows exactly what he has to do to bring it back to life
Nothing is worthless for the one who sees the gold
New for old