Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Free Car Wash Prayer Time

Image found at Colima Car Wash.

Do you have a point card for a convenience or grocery store? Last week, when filling up my car with gas and coffee mug with coffee; I was surprised to receive a "Free Car Wash" at the checkout. After a lot of slushy, salt covered winter driving; the car wash coupon could not have come at a better time - for me and my winter weary Dodge Stratus.

I have a thing for automatic car washes. I love the sound of water whooshing, the juicy-fruit smell of the soap, colorful stripes of bubbles streaming down my windshield and how my car is gently pulled through the car wash bay.

At first, the two men worked on my car by spraying and brushing the excess dirt and ice buildup away. When I pulled into the car wash bay, I carefully lined up my wheels to rest on the tracking to be led through the wash process. I was told to place my car in neutral and release the brake.

I shifted gears but nothing happened. I looked down and saw that I had shifted to reverse - not neutral. My car was working against the tracking belt. No one was going anywhere. I adjusted the gear correctly and entered the full sensory experience of the automatic car wash.

While sitting in my car, I was reminded of how important it is to place myself in the neural and sacred space of prayer. As the water whooshed, the pulley pulled and the bubbles did their work; I closed my eyes and prayed.

I prayed for God to lead me in my decisions, for the help to shift to when I need to be in neutral - when I'm actually in reverse or drive, to allow for the washing away of things that need to go - in order to move forward. Similar to a worship service, that free car wash placed me in a sacred space of prayer where I could remember my baptism and receive God's love.

My car wasn't the only thing going through a transformation inside that car wash bay. Through that short time of prayer, I was reminded that my life can be placed in God's hands, that the debris that gunk’s things up can be washed away, and if I'm willing to shift into the neutral stance - prayer can change things. Prayer can change me.

Take my advice, that if you win a free car wash be sure you cash the coupon in. Not only will your car be clean and shiny - but so will you, as long as you remember to shift into neutral!

Dear God - Don't allow me see prayer as a routine task to be completed. Move me to prayer, so it can be the vehicle to process every part of life. Through prayer, help me to shift out of reverse or drive and into the neutral space where you can work in and through me. Amen

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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