I had a few thoughts as I worked. (I told you, working makes me think. I should try it more often!)
First, I realized that ants get very angry when you pressure wash them. That’s not really useful information, unless you are planning on washing something. However, as I look at my ant-bitten feet, I can’t help but remember that lesson.
Second, I realized that spider webs are really, really strong. I knew this already, but I had no idea how strong. As the pressure washer was ridding the screen of mildew and gunk, it couldn’t get rid of the spider webs. They just hung there, flailing about, avoiding the spray. It was kind of irritating. (Of course, the spider probably found it really irritating that I was trying to wash her hard work down the drain.)
Third, I realized something that might actually be helpful. I realized that pressure washing is a lot like trying to live a Christian life. Hear me out, and I think you’ll agree.
As I washed the deck, there was a lot of mildew and dirt on the tiles. I would squirt the water and get the river of gunk moving towards the back corner of the pool. I would get the area around me clean, and then I would look up to start pressure washing the screen. As I looked back down, though, I would find the gunk creeping back into my clean area. Then, I would squirt it again, a little farther. I did this over and over and over. As I went, the dirty water became cleaner and cleaner, because the grime and mud were draining out into the yard. The more I squirted, the more dirt I moved out of the area, but some dirt was still there. The longer I worked at it, the cleaner the water got. Finally, I managed to get all of the mildew and grime out of the pool area, and I could look back and see a pristine, mildew-free deck area. Victory was mine after a long battle with the grime!
I couldn’t help but think of the similarities to sin in our lives. Those of us who are Christians are trying. We really are. We aren’t perfect, but we are trying to live in a way that God wants us to. We work and work and work to move the river of sin out of our lives, but then we get distracted. As we look away, just like looking up at the screen, sin starts to creep back in. If we act fast, we can squirt it again to get it moving out again, but we have to do this over and over. If we lose focus, the sin takes back over, so we have to keep working at getting rid of it. The more we work at it, the cleaner our lives look, but some sin is still there. Eventually, with the grace of God, we will be able to look back at our lives and say, “Victory is mine!”
The Bible tells us to keep working on pressure washing our lives. (Okay, maybe it doesn’t mention pressure washing, but you get the point.) Read these verses:
Acts 20:24 But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus--the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
2 Timothy 2:15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
How is your pressure washing going? Are you keeping an eye on the river of sin, or have you lost focus? It’s not too late if sin is creeping back in. Just spray it towards the exit, and your life will look cleaner and cleaner as you go. It will get easier to serve God as you keep practicing, and your water will get cleaner and cleaner. Don’t give up the fight. Remember that we are working towards a goal. We want to finish pressure washing so we can hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23) -Al