Washing the Trailblazer with Ari

Saturday the rain finally let up, and we had enough sun to wash the Trailblazer. Here in Myrtle Point if not washed regularly, your car will begin to grow lichen and moss, especially if parked under a myrtle tree. So we had our work cut out for us. Because I am short and the Trailblazer tall, I use a step ladder to reach the top. I put Ari to work on the lower places where you had to bend over to see the dirt and grime.

Ari was a hard worker, but he kept wanting to scrub the top where I was working. To reach the top, he opened one of the doors and stood on the seat. Of course, this let some water into the car, and he was only able to reach about six inches of the top. No matter how often I urged him to wash the lower sections within easy reach, he would soon drift upward to areas he could barely reach.  I had hoped to spare myself a sore back and the trouble of bending over to clean the stuff Ari could reach easily.

Because Ari kept working on what he could barely reach, he left streaks of grime. He was often trying to clean what he couldn’t see well. None of this bothered me much because the car eventually got clean—or at least cleaner, and I enjoy being with Ari.

However, I realized that I am probably much like Ari when working with God. I prefer to ignore the work right in front of me. I often want to do something higher, more important, exciting, and challenging. The result is, no doubt, is that the work right in front me goes undone and the loftier work is done poorly.

Sometimes I don’t take time to talk to a difficult neighbor but for hours will happily debate strategies for reaching the lost of Coos County. I will spend time reading books on the power of prayer instead of simply praying. I can stretch to grasp the lofty theological theories on the ontology of time but not take time to learn what a child can teach.

About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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