Along with all the other stuff I’ve had going on recently – painting the house and getting the repairs to our roof finalized – the lease to my car is coming due at the end of this month. I’m definitely not a car guy. For me, a car is something that gets me to work and brings me back home every day. In the three years I’ve had the Volkswagen Jetta, I’ve never washed the outside and I never cleaned the inside. I certainly wouldn’t say the interior of the car was disgusting, although my wife surely would (and has). Three years of dust had accumulated on the dash along with some dead grass strands and gravel embedded in the carpet and the inevitable stray sesame seeds and French fries from a few Extra Value Meal #1s (don’t tell my doctor) wedged into the gap next to the driver’s seat. Yes, there was also some solidified goo from coffee and Coke spills in the beverage holder. Don’t judge me. It sounds worse than it looked.
With the lease due date and inspection approaching, I knew I had to give the car a thorough cleaning, so I spent half the day last Saturday washing the exterior and cleaning the interior. Armed with rolls of paper towels, carpet cleaner, Formula 409, Windex, and our vacuum cleaner, I worked very hard for about four hours. When I was done, the Jetta looked almost as clean as the day I drove it off the lot. A third-party rep inspected the car yesterday and gave it a thumbs up, so I’ll be going back to the dealership very soon to pick out a new vehicle. In the meantime, I’m really enjoying driving around town in my pristine car. Why did I wait so long to clean it?
As I was driving into work this morning in my like-new car, I thought about how we can also approach our relationship with the Lord far too casually. A sorry analogy? Please hear me out. We neglect prayer. We neglect studying His Word. We neglect applying the Word to our daily lives. We seek other things first before Him. Days, weeks, and months go by and before you know it, our relationship with the Lord is a real mess. It then takes a huge effort to get back into the “spiritual groove” and get right with the Lord again. Been there, done that. Bigtime. But if we walk with the Lord intentionally, every day, every week, we can enjoy the sweet intimacy of being close to Him. Why would we not want that? Don’t get me wrong, walking with the Lord doesn’t mean checking a daily “to do” list, but it does mean being intentional about the relationship.
No, I’ll never be a motorhead, but I plan on keeping my next car a bit cleaner (no eating inside!) so I can enjoy it far more. I agree, keeping a car clean may not be the most “appropriate” analogy in this case. Our walk with the Lord is FAR more valuable than maximizing our driving experience in a silly car. But everyday circumstances sometimes do provide spiritual lessons. The Lord has provided all the necessary means – through prayer, the Word, and the lifechanging power of the indwelling Holy Spirit – so that our walk with Him can be sweet and deeply intimate on a daily basis.
“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:10
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17