I recently posted my Nissan Xterra for sale (click here to see the Craigslist ad). In preparation to sell it, I connected with my friend Tom to get it cleaned up right. We spent Sunday afternoon/evening spending many hours cleaning it inside and out. Tom apologized that we didn’t have more time to spend on it but I told him repeatedly that my car had never looked so clean since I’d owned it.
I took it to Jiffy Lube today to get an oil change and the guy asked me where I got it detailed. I paused for a second to figure out why he was asking me that when he added that when he gets his vehicles detailed they never look THAT clean. He said that they always neglect the little things but that he wanted to go where I had taken my Xterra. He looked a bit disappointed when I told him that my friend and I did it (and we weren’t interested in doing his).
As we were cleaning it on Sunday, I pointed out how much I enjoyed the instant gratification of a project like this. One minute it is dirty and looks average. The next minute it is meticulously clean and looks exceptional. Tom added the fact that he loves doing this so much for the same reason and he suggested that God probably gets the same satisfaction in watching us get “cleaned up.” When God sees all the junk that sin has added to our lives He must be absolutely thrilled to see the potential He designed us for begin to emerge from the dirt.
And that is a great picture the more I think of it. God looks at us, covered in dirt and dust, and longs to see the “restored” versions. And it just so happens that when it comes to detailing people, God happens to be a pro. He can clean even the small areas that often get neglected. The question for us is whether or not we choose to submit ourselves to the One who can make us truly clean. That is the kind of life that truly shines for others to see and it’s the option we all have available to us.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17