I came home from a trip earlier in the week because I knew I needed a day to catch up on some things I don’t normally make time to do. One of those things being, detailing my car. As you will read in later blogs I have written but not published yet (they’re coming but unfinished you guys…be patient), I have been going through a weird season of complacency. It has been a season of figuring things out. It isn’t a doing season, it is a wait around and be comfortable season…and if there is anything I hate more, it’s being comfortable. I’m always itching to learn more, do more, create more and go more. Basically, I am all about the more and not about the comfort. That is neither here nor there though…back to the car detail.
So as I start to detail my car I notice how much of a metaphor this experience is to the cleansing of our spirit. This may not resonate with you, you may not get it, but when you need it you will understand it. I needed it the other day, I had a lot of time to process it and now I am sharing it with you so that in your time of needing it we can chat about out and you will know you are not alone. Here is my story…
I let my car get dirty. Really dirty. I would go and get it washed or the elements would wash it, so you couldn’t tell it was dirty for a little while. But, as it started to get dirtier on the inside, I didn’t care as much about what took place on the outside. When someone would spill something in it, I would tell them it’s ok because I have to clean it out anyway. I never got around to it, I didn’t make time for it. It just kept getting dirtier and dirtier. I was the only one that saw the inside, it didn’t matter. But then I would invite people to ride along with me, they got to see the dirt. It only needed to be vacuumed I told myself, no big deal. I took all the garbage out, only empty water bottles remained (I am apparently no friend to the environment.). Regardless, it was dirty. They couldn’t see all that was hidden in the vessel which is my car. But,I knew it was there.
So, I began the cleansing process. I took out all the mats, loose change in the console, all the empty water bottles under the seat and I began to scrub. This was my car, and regardless of whether or not I cleaned it myself or paid someone to do it, it was my responsibility to make sure it was maintained. It was my responsibility to do the cleansing. As I began to scrub and scrape the mess and dirt away, I noticed how much disparity existed between them. Some stains where there a short time, some there since the second month of car ownership… but at the end of the day, they were all needing to be cleaned. Some stains were put there by other people, most of them I put there because of sheer neglect. Regardless, they were all stains that I eventually had to scrub away. The cleansing and scrubbing process took a long time for certain stains, some of them will still need to be taken care of moving forward.
How does this relate to you, or me & our lives? For starters, we are that dirty car. Your spirit, what resides inside you can get marred very quickly, just like the inside of a car. It isn’t always as visible on the outside, until you invite someone in. You can get a brand new car, you can take the best care possible of it but one day something will spill. That car is only new for a day. We, like that car, will not be new again. All we can do is cleanse. Cleanse our spirit, our minds and our sins away.
Some people cause the deep stains, the ones that take a long time to scrub away. Sometimes the stains matriculate to the outside. What’s dirty on the inside of someone may not be as visible on the outside until you are invited into their lives. Some people may clean their car every single day and others may never clean it. Sooner or later, you’ll have to clean it or get a new car. Regardless, one day you will have to deal with the stains. You will have to cleanse them away. You and only you, will deal with what someone else has left behind.
You have to figure out what that cleansing process looks like for you. For me it was Resolve, in more ways than one. I let circumstance and my inability to deal with managing expectations get in my space. I had to deal with the stains they left behind. If I had cleaned the stains with grape jelly, it would have been a lot less efficient. It isn’t glamorous. It isn’t perfect. It takes work. But the cleansing process of anything is somehow very satisfying. Do the work, deal with your mess and move on with the day.