Was there any time the past couple weeks that you though maybe you needed to wash your vehicle? We had a long spell of warm, dry weather about 10 days back and I thought that a wash down was in order, so I hosed off and washed a couple vehicles in our driveway. If you are running around this week in the rain and mud, especially if you drive much on gravel roads, you may say ‘what’s the point, its just going to get dirty again’ right? Even if you live on a dirt road, its still nice to have things cleaned up, once in a while, just to remember what color your vehicle used to be. Even tough my car was cleaner for a couple days, it still felt good to wash the sale and grime off from the Winter, even if I was headed back on the road again. I suppose I could just leave it parked in my driveway just to look pretty, like some parking-lot princess, but then what’s the point of having a vehicle if I don’t drive it. As we drive down life’s roads, we can avoid some big mud puddles, but eventually we will pick up some dirt and get some blemishes again, because that’s part of it. We can keep washing it when we get a little dirt and try to look pristine, but its a constant battle. How clean do you like to appear to others?
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:5-7
If we treated our own bodies like our vehicles, we might notice or smell each other more often. At our house, bath time for the kids is most every night at about the same time. They really don’t protest much if they do It every day. If we only took a shower or bath once a year, we (and others) might appreciate it more than we do now. Most of us take being clean, or being able to get clean, for granted. Soap and water are not so expensive that we only use them on rare occasions. Yet, how often do we seek to cleanse our souls from sin? Do we ask forgiveness on a daily basis, or only when we feel dirty and sinful? Growing up in a denomination that would have a liturgy and say the Apostle’s or Nicene creed most every week, I could almost feel the weight of sin being removed momentarily following my group confession. When I eventually learned to do this directly with God, that sense was there again, but I also knew that my walk forward wouldn’t be blameless, and knew I would have to be washed again at some point, as we realize, despite appearances, none of us are squeaky clean.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
So, even though we pick up dirt, and dings, and sin as we go through life, is it discouraging or encouraging to move forward knowing that there is messiness ahead? Do you feel refreshed each time you have to get cleaned up, either on the outside or the inside? Do you feel shame when you need to seek forgiveness from God or others? Knowing that we can get clean again should be encouraging, not to get more dirty, but to know we can be made clean and blameless, regardless of what we look like. Let us be joyful that we can be clean!
Yours in Christ,