It chugged. It sputtered. It blew puffs of black exhaust from a rusty muffler. The cargo truck in front of me wore a film of dirt and highway salt so thick, I could only assume its original paint job was supposed to be white. I followed in our minivan, giggling. Because across its bumper, the truck’s company slogan boasted: “Clean Energy Experts.”
“Ha! They could’ve picked a better vehicle for advertising that claim.”
“What, Mommy?” My three-year-old piped up in the back seat.
“Oh, nothing, sweetheart. I’m just laughing about the silly truck in front of us. It’s stinking up the whole road!”
“Yucky! Pee-yoo-skee!” She scrunched her nose and pinched it with two fingers. I let out an amused cackle.
But then my smile drooped, and I clamped my lips shut. Clean energy experts, eh? Maybe it’s not so funny. Because sometimes I am like that truck.
I boast a few slogans, too.
“Clean Life Expert!”
“Christian Wife and Mom!”
What kind of representative am I for God, really?
When I snap at my kids.
When I nag my husband.
When I grumble and worry, or make selfish choices.
On those days when I huff and puff through the house, spewing hurtful exhaust from my mouth until it chokes everybody in my path. Would the people around me say—now there goes a grateful soul. We want what she has!
Darn. Maybe it’s time for a tune-up.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me,” (Psalm 51:10, NLT).
I want to be the kind of person who lives according to what she believes. Don’t you? Of course, nobody is perfect. We all have our struggles and bad days. But the question is—what are we going to do with them? That truck made me think about how easy it can be to let the filth pile up until nobody recognizes what’s inside. We all need regular maintenance checks—to ask ourselves, am I trusting God, serving my family humbly, counting my blessings and speaking truth in love? Or am I polluting my witness with stinky behavior?
“Mommy, is that truck gone now?” My daughter kicked her feet against her car seat as our minivan veered off the exit ramp.
“Yes! It sure was smelly, wasn’t it?”
“Are we almost home, Mom?”
“We are. But first, we’re going to make a quick stop somewhere.”
“Where, Momma? Where are we going?”
“To the car wash, my love. I’m itching for a good scrub.”