Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GREEN (01/19/17)
TITLE: At The Car Wash
By Terri Kilroy
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Following the longest snow season since the 1950’s and a full day of shopping, I figured my crate on wheels could use a serious car washing. Paying close attention to signs along the road, I looked for anything that said, “We do sandblasting—cars half off!”
I decided to settle for the next best thing and drove into the nearest full-service car wash sans the sandblast. What a zoo! I veered into the right lane (shortest lane), turned off the engine and waited. About ten minutes later, I noticed the left lane had shortened quite a few car lengths. Firing up the ignition, I carefully checked my driver side mirror. I almost made a go for it when a large, midnight-blue luxury sedan barreled past me from way at the end of my line (no signal). Obviously, they didn’t pay any attention to my signal or position. We nearly collided. Whoa! Thank God for quick reflexes! And with my tiny compact, had she come any closer, it would have given a whole new meaning to the word “compact.”
It’s a free country I know, but she must have seen me hedging into the same lane and clearly in first position for that spot. But she had winning on her mind, and nothing was going to stop her.
The folks idling behind, allowed me to return to my original position (Praise the Lord!) I maneuvered the car back into the slot, turned off the engine and waited. Once my heart-rate dropped out of the triple digits, I gained some peace about the situation. I turned on the radio (Christian) and immediately forgot about the incident—for a few minutes anyway.
I looked up and couldn’t help but notice her nibs touching up her makeup and brushing her hair in the rear-view. Polished, worldly and expensive looking, I thought for a moment and imagined what kind of life this individual must lead. Unconscious of my mind's eye on over-drive, I decided she probably spends most of it getting her way through aggressive means—the proverbial steamroller approach. A guaranteed recipient of the best of everything no matter what the cost— (even a life if necessary).
I prayed a little prayer for her to learn a lesson today about greed and how things shouldn’t always work out, for the sake of the health of her character. And sure enough, right at that moment, my line (including my car) moved clear up passed the big ole’ sedan. Her silhouette grew animated. Immediately she got out of her car as if to abandon it and walked over to the attendant trying to give him money. I’m not sure if she went over to pay her bill or pay under the table for special treatment. (It looked like the latter).
As she exchanged currency, I pulled up into first position and my car got the attention it desperately needed. I watched my little clunker go through the car wash first and she still had two cars waiting in front of hers. Not that my car’s position meant all that much to me. This whole thing is a matter of principle!
Needless to say, she had to wait twice as long as I did. While I concentrated on my car going through the dry cycle, her highness joined the rest of the group watching their beloved possessions reach the conveyor belt and move along. At last, her sparkling carriage arrived and she charged right by me—probably heading for the air-conditioned room to get her shoes shined.
I thanked the Lord for speeding me through that crazy car wash. But then it hit me like a bag of street salt. He was grooming me, yes, me, to focus on the only thing that really matters in life—Jesus!
Dear Lord: Thank you for helping me recognize my natural inclination to envy and compete with others I merely perceive as more fortunate than myself. I must admit, I took great joy in getting even with someone when I had no idea what their true intentions were. Only you can know the intentions of the heart! May your Spirit give me the wisdom to discern and the courage to witness directly to those in need of the truth. And do it with the hope that they too may come to realize the only thing worth possessing is your precious Son. Indebted to you forever in the glorious name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
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