When Dings and Things Are Neglected
A while back, my husband and son drove my car to a class they were taking together. At our house, whichever car is mostly full of gas, and mostly accessible, most often gets taken. Since I was last to get home from work that night, my car was it. I was exhausted from a long day and staying home anyway, so it really didn’t matter to me.
Later, when the boys got home, they told me that a car in front of them had kicked up a rock and put a ding in my windshield. It happens. And if it isn’t a windshield ding, it will be a door ding. I knew the boys were super bummed, so I shrugged my shoulders, smiled and said what they often say… “That’s why we can’t have nice things.” (That’s our way of saying it’s all good—because really, what can we do.) Believe me, we’ve had worse things than this and if this is the worst that happens, I’d say it’s a pretty good day. No big deal.
I jumped on Yelp to find a local place with great reviews that repairs windshields. I learned that if the crack is smaller than the size of a dollar bill and not in the line of vision, it can be repaired rather than replaced. It’s much cheaper. I planned to call, first thing in the morning.
When morning came, so did the distractions.
High school deadlines for my boy. College deadlines for my girl. A ticking countdown clock, as deadlines at work rapidly approached. Car repair? I forgot. A week went by. Two weeks. Then a month. That small ding became a crack. And the crack grew. In both directions. It invaded new, untouched areas. It turned and curved, meandering its way into my line of vision.
Driving to work one morning (peering through that maze of mess and kicking myself for not taking care of it) the Lord spoke to my heart. I know it was the Lord because I was only one cup of coffee into my day and my mind doesn’t think these thoughts naturally. Let’s be honest. This conversation with the Lord was painful but necessary.
Sarah, look at that crack. Do you see it? It started so small. So easy to fix. But you let yourself get distracted. Busy with other things. Things you said were important. Sarah, that ding is like areas of your life that have been neglected. When they are neglected, they grow.
It’s that conversation you didn’t rectify. That sin you haven’t confessed. That person you need to talk to. It’s forgiveness in that situation you have yet to offer. It’s bitterness taking root in that area. And it’s growing. Invading. Spreading to other areas of your life. What was once a simple fix is becoming a bigger issue. It will be more costly to repair. More dangerous to ignore. And ugly. And visible to others.
Girlfriends, I don’t talk to myself like this. With every situation God brought to mind, I began to see the cracks and identify the progression of damage.
More than fixing dings to my car, I want my heart to be right. I want to live a life that’s pleasing and acceptable to God. I want to hear well done good and faithful servant. I want to be rid of those things that trip me up in my walk.
Life has a way of kicking up rocks. When dings and things happen, Lord help us take care to repair it right away. Help us to pray like the psalmist did, with an open and correctable heart.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalm 139:23–24 NLT