This, like most Thursdays, was a normal night. The kids came over for supper and we spent some much needed time with them. They cleaned their hamsters' cage out, per the agreement established when we agreed to buy them pets in the first place. The kids switched the bedding and took care of the deposits those happy little rodents left on the window sill.
In addition to washing the hamster cage, we decided to capitalize on the free labor and have the kids help wash the car. Naturally, this took me back to when I was kid and helped my family wash the car. I had this thing about washing it barefoot. Even if we went to an actual car wash, I would take my shoes off just to feel the water run between my toes. At any rate, I noticed something about my own kids that reminded me of my relationship with God.
Once we were finished washing the outside of the car, I handed my daughter a rag and some glass cleaner. I told her to wash the inside windows. She headed for the passenger door and washed one window. Then she came to me and asked if she should wash the front window that you see out of when you drive. I told her of course. So Presley washed the front window. Then she asked if she should wash the back windows. I had to tell her every step of the way as if by saying "wash the inside windows" I was talking in some secret code she had to decipher.
How often do we approach our relationship with God the same way? It is almost as if God doesn't give us some big sign in flashing lights, then we won't believe Him. Take for instance Peter as captured in Matthew 18:
“Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Did Jesus really need to spell it out? The fact that we should love God and love others? Fast forward a few chapters and you find Jesus explaining it again:
“And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."” – Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
Very simple: love God and love others. So how many times do I need to forgive? Simple, love God and love others. How every long that takes.
Sometimes God just wants us to wash the car. No hidden message. No great earthquake or thunderstorm. But in the gentle, whisper of clarity.
Maybe God has been putting something on your heart and you are making it harder than it needs to be. I would encourage you to just go for it. Wash the front, side and yes the back windows while you're at it.