For instance, I had only planned to take my three children with me to family camp, but my grandson begged that I take him. I managed the extra cost and we could all still fit in my smaller vehicle, but it would be tight.
Then Mom decided that I could only take one if I took the other. That was pushing it, but, hey, they are my grandsons and I had their solemn promises to help and behave well.
Plan B came into effect in which I had to take my older, larger vehicle. Six people, luggage for 1 1/2 weeks and the assorted paraphernalia that entails would not work in a Traverse. My Yukon (XL) loaded, I made it a point to repeatedly say, “Get your trash,” at any stops we made. There weren’t many along the way because I told them they were cutting into their swimming time if we had to stop too much. (I’ve made it a habit to always book hotels with indoor pools. It helps keep us on track with the time.)
We made it back safely enough and I emptied the car of all we had collected along the way. Amidst the rubble that remained, I found crackers, sunflower seeds, remains of trail mix, crayons, scraps of paper, plastic bottles, wrappers and more. I was amazed at how, “Get your trash,” did not include these things.
I have begun to travel with a small trash can in the vehicle to help with all that as well. So, since the vehicle has been the spare for not only me, but my daughter, son-in-law, son and daughter-in-law, it has changed hands quite a bit and not one, in their busy lives, took the time to really do a thorough job of cleaning out the car. (Neither did I for that matter.)
After removing all artifacts from our trip, I decided it was time to take it in for a thorough cleaning. I took it to have the carpets and upholstery vacuumed and then shampooed/cleaned. It was Armor-all cleaned and run through a car wash.
Once or twice a year, I like to give my cars the royal treatment in cleaning. It makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the vehicle, but also in the way the children treat the car. There is nothing like getting into a thoroughly clean car!
So what does all of this have to do with God? Well, not much, really, unless we consider ourselves to be the vehicles out on a journey, however long or short it might be. We take some battering and beating along the way, so we must take the time to clear out the trash, the baggage we have collected, the scraps that remain, and the remnants of where we have been that can weigh us down.
That is where God fits in, not a few times a year, or monthly or weekly, but daily. And although I found some great verses about renewal (Psalm 51:10, 103:5, Isaiah 40:31, and 2 Cor 4:16), I thought these to be best suited here: “Strip yourselves of your former nature which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lust and desires that spring from delusion;” (or long travels in a car that make it dirty from lack of care) “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new nature created in God’s image in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
OK, so I am not fully righteous or holy and have a long way to go to get there, but I am on the road towards that destination and hope to see it someday.
Thank you, Lord, that we had safe travel and made it back with all five children, despite my desire to lose a few along the way!