Opinion

Been through the car wash of life lately?

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Clayton Hayes is a lifelong resident of Dyer County.

Something happened the other day that brought back some fond memories of my family pet, a beautiful collie that looked like Lassie. A gentle dog that loved people, especially my two sons, who were 13 and 8 at the time.

My collie carried the name of Gustav. Youíll remember we had a hurricane onr season by that name. We simply called our collie .... Goose .... for short.

Goose loved to ride in my Suburban. He took up almost the entire back seat. As I drove the streets, youíd see his long collie nose taking in the breeze as he hung out the back window.

Goose knew that everyone in our family loved him and provided the best of care.

One day while riding around, I decided to pull into one of those automatic car washers featuring spraying water, flying soap and big, fuzzy brushes.

As I rolled up the windows and entered the dark tunnel, Goose perked up somewhat and started glancing from side to side.

If he could talk, I imaged heíd said, ďHey, whatís happening here? What in the world is going on? This is something new and I donít understand whatís coming down.Ē

Goose began to let out one of those bright moon middle-of-the-night-ear-splitting howls. Took me by surprise. I tried to reassure him that everything was alright. Nothing to fear.

He jumped into the front seat with me looking at me with those big collie eyes seeking protection and rescue from this new unknown adventure. His eyes were larger than normal and those big pointed Collie ears were more erect than I had ever seen.

ďCalm down Goose, itís only a car wash!Ē

Never occurred to me that a simple automatic car wash would frighten my family pet so much.

In life, sometimes we need to place ourselves in the other personís situation in life. There is an old American Indian saying that says, ďYou are my friend when you walk a mile in my moccasins.Ē

As I placed myself in Gooseís paws, I could see it the way it appeared to him. Here was a strange, huge, noisy machine spraying water, soap and running big fuzzy brushes over all the windows, banging against the side doors as it traveled down the Suburban.

Goose was yelling something like...ĒHey Clayton, duck. Weíre under attack. Head for cover.Ē

Donít recall my exact words to Goose, but probably were something like ... ďDonít be scared. Donít panic. Itís just water and soap. The same stuff I use to give you a bath, Goose. Iíve done this many times before and itís for our own good.Ē

Have you ever tried to explain an automatic car wash to a collie? Dog dictionaries are probably minus words like ... car wash ... fuzzy brushes ... soap spray.

My words of reassurance werenít heard by his big ears that were now curled downward.

No amount of head rubbing and words of safety helped. Goose continued to do what most dogs do in time of unexplained trouble. He howled even louder and longer.

When we think about it, Goose did exactly what you and I do. In time of trouble, we donít exactly howl, but we react with fear. When a hospital confinement hits us, job loss or transfer, bad economic times, sickness involving our children, we tend to have a wail of a time.

And when Jesus tries to explain whatís happening, we react as if heís speaking a foreign language we donít understand.

Fear has gripped us so tight with unexpected occurrences in life, we canít hear Him.

Is your world today wet and wild? Are you going through the car wash of life?

A lot of the time, Godís blessings often come disguised as disasters. All doubters need to do in these times is simply ascend the Hill of Calvary and look up.

On that dark day Jesus hung on the Cross, most of Jerusalem came to the opinion that this Jesus character was finished. His crusade was over and done with.

Even some of His disciples, friends, neighbors, on-lookers and enemies had labeled Him as the dog in the passenger seat.

But the Master, who seats behind the driverís seat sure thinks differently. God isnít surprised by anything, any happening, any unannounced occurrence.

His plan is and will always be right on time, right on schedule. Even in death, Jesus was still the King, the king over His own crucifixion.

Heís sure smarter and wiser than all of us combined. If weíll just stop wailing, calm down and acknowledge the comforting arms of Jesus, listen to what Heís telling us, then and only then will we begin to understand the situation, whatís actually happening and sometimes even know why itís happening at that time in our life.

When the car wash completed it final rinse cycle, the light at the exit end appeared. The cascading water stopped, the noise abated. Putting the Suburban in gear, I slowly moved toward the end of the wash line.

The light grew brighter. Goose stopped barking. His drooping ears perked up. He ran his big wet tongue down the side of my cheek. He jumped back into his favorite back seat position.

Then as I rolled down all the windows, out the window went his head. All was right in his world once again.

Joy comes into our lives when we stop wailing about the troubles we have, and offer thanks for all the troubles we donít have. Gratitude to God should be as regular as our own heartbeat.

The subsequent visits to the car wash were never the same again for Goose.

Every time when heíd see us about to enter the car wash, heíd probably thought... ďOh, here we go again. This wonít take long. Might as well lay down in the seat and take a nap until this is over as my master has everything under control.Ē

Can Jesus do the same for you and me during our car-wash days? You bet He can. Can he turn our Fridays into Sundays? Without a doubt.

Can He take the storms of life exhibiting cascading water and floods, noise and unknown happenings we donít understand and reassure us all is okay? Sure he can.

Today some of us still have doubts similar to those with long faces that stood at the foot of the Cross. Iím hear to tell you, itís not over. Jesus is alive and in control of every facet of our lives.

But, how can God use and turn sickness, divorce, job loss, bad economic times into something good? Remember my Suburban went thru a dark tunnel. Hit by pounding water and strange brushes.

All the dirt and grime was washed off and my vehicle came out the other end looking like a brand new Suburban.

I feel God runs us all through the car wash of life at various times. We donít understand it when it happens, but we must have trust and faith. Then we need to exhibit and live it.

As we trust our Master, heíll bring us through the car wash of life. And weíll exit with a fresh and renewed life.