"A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit." Psalm 51:12
I was so excited when I left work the other night- the huge chunk of rock hard snow and ice behind the front driver's side wheel of my car finally fell off! After weeks of feeble attempts to kick this crud off of my car, after weeks of chipping away at it with an ice scraper, it finally came off thanks to those fews days of warm weather we had last week.
Experts suggest that these chunks of ice and snow in our wheel wells can be dangerous. According to one website- here are a few problems those ice and snow chunks can cause to our cars:
- Your car may feel shaky while driving because the tire is rubbing and hitting against the ice.
- Your tires may get premature wear from rubbing on the ice. Yes, believe it or not but ice can damage your tires.
- Your suspension will feel a lot less bouncy and you may even hear bumps and cracking as you hit pot holes since your wheel now has less room to move up and down.
- You may damage your car. As the tire bounces it may end up causing damage to the inside of the wheel well or even to the body and trim around the tire.
- The ice could also inhibit driving. You may find it harder to turn since the ice wasn't allowing the tire to move. If you can't turn your car you are a danger to you and those around you.
How can you prevent these ice and snow chunks from forming in the first place and save your car from possible damage? Experts suggest:
- Doing a walk around your car every time you park and kicking off and slush if you can.
- Use your ice scraper or even a shovel to chip the ice and snow away until your wheels are clear and safe to drive on.
- Spray WD-40 or another product into your wheel well before it snows to prevent build up.
- Take your car to a heated garage or car wash to melt it off.
As I gleefully drove home in the nearly 30 degree weather with my chunk free car and reflected on the day, I started to think that those icy chunks of crud are kind of like sin in our lives, chunks of crud that are ugly, hard to get rid of, built up over time, and possibly even dangerous to our well-being, not to mention salvation. Just like those irritating ice chunks can be dangerous to our cars, ugly chunks of sin can be dangerous to our souls:
- Sin can make you feel a bit shaky when you are lacking a solid foundation to base your life on and sin is pulling you away from who God created you to be.
- Sin can make you feel worn out, stressed out, and a slave to constantly seeking pleasures for temporary happiness that never fulfill us, but always leave us looking for more.
- Sin makes it hard to deal with the "pot holes" in life; turning away from God makes dealing with life's challenges even harder! When we are not centered on God, life's ups and downs are even more drastic.
- Sin can cause some real damage to our physical bodies, our relationships, and our economic futures.
- Sin makes it harder to change your ways and turn back to God. The more you sin, the easier it is to sin and the harder it is to break self-destructive habits.
Lent is the perfect time to kick away these chunks of sin and rid our lives of them. Some ways to do this during Lent are:
- Commit to an examination of conscience. Commit to doing a daily "walk around" your life to see where some chunks have accumulated and kick them off before you go to bed.
- Chip away at sin by performing acts of almsgiving or kind deeds for others throughout your day. Little by little, you will rid yourself of selfish thoughts, words, and deeds by focusing on the needs of others.
- Prevent sin from "sticking" by devoting yourself to fervent prayer throughout your day; make all of your actions acts of prayer at work and at home.
- Warm up your soul with the light of Christ by parking yourself in a warm confessional to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation and wash yourself clean from sin.
As we travel on our Lenten journey together as a faith and learning community, let's commit to helping one another remove anything that prevents us from being the loving, forgiving, and compassionate community that God inspires us to be.