I had my car washed today, for the first time in a while. It was a different color from both the southern pollen and the baby birds learning to fly, so bath time for the vehicle it was. My story isn't about dirty cars though. It's about car washes.
I was starving and decided on a snack before I went through, which was a brilliant plan because I could eat it while I was going through the car wash. I can't speak for car washes in other parts of the US, but in the south, ours are open basically year round with the exception of a few rainy days and extremely cold weather, which is rare. Otherwise, let the car gleam! We even offer monthly subscriptions. So, there I was, in a dirty car, car wash paid, and was moving forward in line as directed. It came my turn, and an attendant directed me in the tracking system so I could effectively go through as designed. I put my car in neutral, released my foot off the brake, and watched as the man prepped my car as it began slowly moving forward. I then removed my hand from the wheel and began my snack. Have you ever been through a car wash and thought about it as you were going through? When my nephew Justin was a toddler, he loved going through them, yet today was the first time I have ever put my attention on the process. Here's how it goes: You align yourself on the path that is designated as the track. You watch as another person guides you, and helps prepare the way. You remove your foot from the brake, place car in neutral, and take your hands off the wheel. Suddenly, you realize you are moving in a direction that you have no control over. Your sight is blinded by cleaning foam, loud noises fill the air, and outside forces basically surround and aggressively attack you from all sides.
A moment of panic sets in. You cannot see anything, coupled with the noise, and you are leaning on pure trust in the system working. Then, within a few seconds, a pleasant calm comes over you. The fragrance of cleaner is inhaled, the aggressive noises and motions turn into a soft rain, your sight become a little bit clearer, and you can see the (light) at the end of the tunnel.
Try as you might, if you allowed yourself, one could easily freak in the situation. You literally have NO control and you can see NO solution. If something were to happen inside the car wash, you would have to rely on others to assist and advise you. Today, I had what Oprah calls an Ah-Ha moment; it's those moments that we sit back, breathe, and accept what we learn. And here is what I learned in my car wash thoughts: Car washes are like living the Curvy Life. I don't mean a full-figured life, but the life that is planned for us when we think we have it all planned ourselves. It's the unexpected turns, twists, bumps, potholes and sharp curves ahead. It's the deer that dashes in front of us, or the dog we swerve to avoid missing. We align ourselves in the path we feel is designed for us. With the help of others, we are guided and prepared for the way. And as things start sailing smoothly, we ease off the brake, allowing coasting, and take our hands off the wheel. And that's when we find ourselves in the Curvy Life, moving in a direction we have no control over. Our sight will often get blinded by the outside forces that act upon our life: losses, defeat, death, divorces, bad decisions, tragedy, traumas, Sometimes the noise gets too loud to hear anything else. And then you remember you belong to a heavenly Father who loves you greater than any love you can conceive. If you didn't know that, you learn about it and suddenly, a pleasant calm comes over you. The fragrant smell of fresh and clean start is inhaled, the aggressive noises and motions turn into a soft rain, your sight become a little bit clearer, and you can see the (light) at the end of the tunnel. God is the Light.
Can you see that image in your head? Can you envision the end results of the wash? Can you envision a life of joy, even in the sorrowful times? Can you imagine a life of peace, even amidst a period of chaos? Easter is this Sunday. Take away the bunnies and chicks, and you have the heart of the celebration: the story of the Son of God who was sinless, who died on the cross for OUR sins, for MY sins. He was buried, and 3 days later, He rose from the grave! He did this so we can be like that in car wash - even in the hardest times, during the curvy life, when we feel like we have no control, and the sounds of life are louder than the sounds of thunder, we know He is at the (light), even during the tunnel. xoxo, Chris