I have heard it said by more than one person on more than one occasion that the state of your vehicle reflects the state of your walk with the Lord. Translation: If your car is always a mess, your spiritual life is likely a mess. Or....If your car is always spotless, you may very well have your walk with the Lord in order.
I was thinking on this idea today while driving (of course, while driving) and I have to say that it seems to be true for me. For those of you who don't live with me - and that would be all of you, dear readers - allow me to explain the typical status of my van:
About once a month, I get the urge to SERIOUSLY clean the van. I mean a take-the-seats-out-and-vacuum-and-wash-the-insides-of-the-windows-and-remove-every-last-penny-from-the-penny-tray kind of clean. After about an hour of hardcore work, my van is basically spotless and beautiful. I love it. But then I have to put the car seats back in.
Once the car seats enter the scene, I become just slightly depressed at the sight of how much smaller everything seems. There is suddenly far less room and for a brief moment in time, I tend to wish I didn't have so many small children who require such bulky arrangements. But alas, my children are a gift from the Lord and I love them to death...so I keep the car seats.
As the days go on, Sunday School papers begin to float in. I don't know who ever had such a brilliant idea as to send each child home with at least 3 papers per class, but whoever that person was....we're not chums. Having two toddlers doubles the papers, of course. Oftentimes I sneakily throw them out on the way out the church doors, but it usually comes back to haunt me when one of my children says to me later in the day, "Mommy, did you see my picture?"
I know many of you are thinking about what a terrible mother I am right now, but seriously....I refuse to keep every single piece of paper my children color. If I did, we would already have a closet full, and my oldest child is only 3.
Moving on....fast food. I admit it, we sometimes grab fast food. It's usually Chick-Fil-A, since we have like a bazillion coupons for Chick-Fil-A. Or if it's morning, every once in a while, the kids and I will grab Burger King. What can I say? I'm a sucker for giant creepy plastic kings. But the bags....ohhhh, those paper bags. I don't know what it is about them, but they just seem to nestle themselves right down into my passenger floor. Sure, I'll throw a bag out every once in a while, but mostly I just find them buried under my seat weeks later.
And then there's the toys the kids bring out to the van when I'm not looking, the diaper bag that gets torn apart in order to find one remaining diaper at the bottom of the bag, the mail I grab on my way down the driveway, my water bottle, workout towel, the extra coats, blankets, and lost shoes. Oh my, it gets to be messy!
And then...that glorious day comes when I decide that TODAY IS THE DAY. The van is thoroughly cleaned and the process begins again. It's a horrible pattern, really, but I'm just not sure how to break it. I blame it on the kids mostly - and it is partially their fault - but seriously, who's the parent?
Back to the topic at hand. How much does my van resemble my spirutual life? Remarkably well, unfortunately. You see, I have these same terrible habits when it comes to reading my Bible, spending time in prayer, and really being (can I use the age-old phrase?) "on fire" for the Lord. I have moments when I feel that I absolutely MUST change things in my life or...or....well, I just MUST. And so I do. I devote more time to the Lord. I read my Bible often and pray fervently. I begin to see changes in my life that I know are absolutely not possible without the power of the Holy Spirit. But then....slowly....I find myself slipping back into that same old pattern of sin, or if not the same one, a new one. And it tends to go on until I have another one of those MUST CHANGE moments. And that's the process.
Now, lest I sound completely depressing, there are definitely areas where the Lord has given me victory over sin! I don't know if I worded that right. He always has the power over sin, but sometimes I just choose to ignore it. Choose to try to do things on my own. Choose to do life the way I want to rather than the way He wants me to. And that's when my downfall comes. But praise the Lord that He continually brings me back to the place of MUST CHANGE over and over again. Because if He didn't, there's no way I would willingly choose to be there. He is so gracious to me.
I realize that was awfully personal and I'm not really asking that you get that personal, but what I am asking is this: Examine your life and see if this analogy proves true for your life too. I'd love to know if your car (van/truck/etc) is very much like your walk with the Lord or if you think that's just a bunch of bologna! If nothing else, I hope this post has at least glorified God in His neverending grace to us!
So if you're willing....tell me I'm not alone.