Pay Much Closer Attention

Road grime

Kevin—my oldest son—and I were traveling today—I had an appointment for a root canal. It was a bright and beautiful sunny Friday afternoon with temperatures in the 40’s—not bad for northern Michigan in early February. Our car was filthy from the road grime of recent wintry weather. Every time we got in the car we noted the filth. We hadn’t seen a car wash yet and didn’t have time to go look for one. On our return home we both looked over at a filthy pickup passing us on the highway. Kevin exclaimed, “Oh man!” at the road grime and condition of the passing vehicle. As he did I noted that the driver was probably looking at our dark green station wagon covered with road salt and filth saying the same thing. The irony of that thought brought us both to laughter.

It’s pretty easy to see and be disgusted by the grit and grime in other peoples lives. It’s also easy to forget about and overlook our own messiness. But the unexamined life is a bit of a waste. It’s too easy to be disgusted by the messy people around us while neglecting our own need. If we don’t make regular checkups of our own spiritual condition we’re bound to not be as squared away as we ought to be.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139: 23, 24 (ESV)