The Rotten Apple in the Car

I’ve been wanting to have the car washed since the start of June, but every Saturday morning (my preferred time), I either sleep in or do other activities at home. However, today, I mustered enough strength to get out of my bed and drive to a nearby car wash store. After a month of being driven around different cities under the sunny and stormy weather, it was finally given a well-deserved bath.

I stayed at the waiting area while I watched two men clean the interior and exterior parts of the car. In a few minutes, the car was completely covered with white, foamy soap and was being scrubbed and rinsed until it was squeaky clean. It was the most refreshing five minutes of my day, so far. After washing the car, they cleaned the rug inside using a vacuum cleaner and then they turned over the car to me.

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After paying for the fee, I left the place with a smile on my face as I was feeling very satisfied with a cleaner vehicle. I played some music in the car, sang a few songs on my way home, and felt good that the car didn’t have dried leaves and dirty windshields anymore. Everything was superb UNTIL I checked the backseats and noticed a horrifying sight. There was a rotten apple on the backseat of the car and it had a colorful display of fungi and molds. It was crazy!

Some of my immediate thoughts were: “What in the world? Why is there a rotten apple in the car???” “Why did the two men leave it and other tissue papers on the backseat?” “This certainly isn’t my apple. The only food I brought inside the car this past month was my take out order from KFC. Maybe it’s from one of my siblings! Huhuhu” I felt a mix of disgust and shame as I stared at the apple. I really am not a fan of fungi or anything rotten.

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But, even though it was a disappointing moment, I found it really random and funny. When I got home, I knew that God wanted me to experience the car wash and learn from it this morning. Yes, the apple may not have been mine in the first place. But, I have the responsibility of keeping the car clean regardless of the source of dirt. If I was more intentional in having it cleaned earlier (start of June), I may have discovered the apple when it was in a much better state. However, because I didn’t, I now have to face the consequence of unintentionally nurturing a rotten apple in the car. This explains the small critters I found roaming in the car! (Side note: In the past month, I noticed two tiny roaches on the rug of the car. I guess it was already a warning sign for me to have it cleaned. But, I chose to delay instead.)

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I was also tempted to feel disappointed towards the two men who cleaned the car but left the rotten apple on the backseat. I thought that they didn’t do a good job in that aspect. But, now that I think about it, they did clean the rug (which was requested by me) and they just placed the things that they found under the seats on top of the seats for me to see. Beside the rotten apple, there were a few pieces of newspaper and tissue paper. But, there was also a usb cable that I lost a week ago. I guess it was their practice not to remove any of our belongings inside the car. Amusingly, mine happened to include a rotten fruit. Yikes.

If there’s one lesson that I could take home from this experience today, it’s this: We all have blind spots and we all need help in identifying them.

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Can you imagine how I felt after seeing the rotten apple on the backseat and realizing that it was hiding somewhere in the car for almost a month without me knowing? EEK! I felt shivers down my spine. I realized that it’s very similar to having blind spots in life, relationships, or even at work. There are certain behaviors, thoughts, and things that I have and do that may not be helping me grow as a person or benefiting those around me. Maybe it’s my choice of words or the way I randomly tease my colleagues. Maybe it’s my simple acts of laziness especially when I have to do chores at home. Maybe it’s depending solely on myself than on God in my recent day-to-day activities. If I don’t humbly seek the help of my accountability partners or family members and friends who can graciously point out my blind spots to me, I might as well be like a rotten apple in the car.

“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.”

-Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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Incidentally, every Saturday afternoon, I have the privilege of meeting up with a group of ladies from church who help me grow in my walk with the Lord, in the way I build relationships, and in my personal goals in life. Maybe this morning’s car wash experience was another reminder for me to keep being accountable, teachable, and humble.

Oh, and hopefully, my next car wash won’t be on August 2. Please, no. If you remember me a week or two weeks from now, can you remind me about this? Hahaha.