If you read my last night's entry, you know I'm in Wichita, Kansas to spend time with my brothers and their families during the Christmas holidays. I still have quite a bit of Christmas shopping to do- well, all of it to be accurate. But it was nice to sleep in a warm house with a Christmas tree and Dave and Sally, waiting for my nieces and nephews to arrive. I'll move to Scott and Karen's, a mile away, when they return from Iowa seeing her family. This was my second trip to Wichita in the past four weeks as I came for Thanksgiving. It's about 620 miles or so, depending on whether you trust Mapblast or Mapquest more. But it's all good highways and 75 MPH much of the way so it's easy to make good time. I slept for five minutes in an Arby's parking lot outside OKC and stayed wide awake the whole time. Several gallons of coffee helps!
Two days ago, on Saturday afternoon, I washed my car twelve hours before I left Houston. It needed it- it had been several weeks and it has rained three or four times a week for the past several months. (I found a French fry in the back seat. Lizeth or Sydney or Jenna; one of you is in trouble!) When I bought my Honda Fit in April Fools Day of 2010, I washed it religiously and have never taken it to a car wash- I read some places recycle their water and you end up spraying your car with everything that came off other vehicles. But, as the newness has worn off, so have the weekly scrubbings. Still, to start a road trip, you need a clean car so on a overcast day in Harris County, I washed my car. I washed this in spite of knowing the forecast called for lousy weather and road conditions and my car would immediately return to its filthy state as soon as I pulled on 610 North several miles from my home. And that's exactly what happened. By the time I pulled up to Dave and Sally's house, my car was covered with a combination of ice, mud, and whatever they put on the roads to make them passable. Dave's and Sally's cars were in the same shape when they arrived. In fact every car I've seen in Wichita these two days could be ads for off road racing. The Kansas car washes will be very busy when the weather thaws out in a day or two.
I don't know why I felt compelled to wash my car. Maybe it's the psychological edge you feel when pulling out of the driveway with your car looking sharp. But the inevitable grime would soon replace the clean exterior no matter how carefully I could drive. I was thirteen when I was baptized into Jesus by my dad on a spring Sunday morning in York, Nebraska. I don't remember my reaction when I sinned the first time after my immersion. I don't remember if I was shocked or appalled or crestfallen or thrilled to know the blood of the Savior had washed it away from me. It happened again and again and again, etc. I struggle with the amount of sin over the years, like I somehow fear the Lord will tire of forgiving me. That's not a Biblical fear but one Satan is pretty good at selling me. That's why I need Christmas- the reminder that God came in the flesh to save me and you and all of us, no matter how repulsive the image we might see when we look in the mirror. Maybe that's why I wash the car knowing it will revert to its previous state- I need a reminder of how it looks when it's spotless.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I love driving cars, looking at them, cleaning and washing and shining them. I clean 'em inside and outside. I'm very touchy about cars. I don't want anybody leaning on them or closing the door too hard, know what I mean?"
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