Sunday, October 10, 2010

Floozy Hexx and the Car Wash

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Maybe God didn’t give us a spirit of timidity, but very often we clothe ourselves in one.

Once upon a time I used to be brave. I wouldn’t say that I have ever been really brave. There has always been a tinge of the coward about me, and although I have done some quite brave things, deep down inside, I have been quaking. Maybe what makes a really brave action is not about whether you were scared or not, but whether despite the fear you still went ahead and did it anyway.

Maybe it’s an age thing, that as you get older you get less brave. Maybe you are more aware of your limitations. I have some very young friends who are very versatile. One of them, who goes to ballet classes, can wrap her legs around her head, maybe not quite comfortably, but she can do it. I am not sure that I have ever been that flexible. I know for sure that if I tried to do it today – well, the imagination will not stretch that far…and neither will either of the legs!

Yesterday Joe and I took proud possession of a new car. It wasn’t brand new, just new to us. The last car was limping towards retirement.

Floozy Hexx is a three year old, Phantom Blue Mazda 3. Joe christened her using the various letters of the number plate. It has been a while since we have named our car. In fact the only one we named was the very first one – Austin. He was an Austin Maestro so it wasn’t that creative a name.

We collected Floozy yesterday from the garage. We handed over a selection of cards of various savings accounts, punched in the pin numbers and drove her out of the salesroom car park.

The salesman has assured us that she had been cleaned up, but it had been a windy day so she was looking a little dusty. We have this thing about making resolutions to look after cars better when we buy them. It lasts for a while. I am not car-savvy and Joe is not car-savvy either. We don’t tinker with stuff under the bonnet and wipe oil stained hands on oily rags. Incidentally the salesman was just a little annoying. When I asked him if I could have a look under the bonnet, he kind of made noises and said, “That’s our domain, dearie. We look after what goes on under the bonnet!”

We decided to take Floozy to the car wash. It was one of those jet wash things, playing with water and soapy brushes. However, the woman behind the counter gave us the wrong kind of ticket and we had to drive through a proper car wash thing. This is something I would never choose to do. It is all a little too precise for me, lining things up, and stopping exactly where they tell you to stop. Just give me a bucket of water and sponge and a squeeze of cleaning liquid.

It was a most unpleasant experience. I know there was a windscreen between me and these huge brushes that swept back and forward, but it was just too near. It’s not as if you can get out at any point and take a deep breath of fresh air. There is no pause button to push – just these manic brushes encasing the car.

Floozy was clean by the end of it, but it took a while for me to recover. The half pint of lager in the nearest pub was purely medicinal!

It made me think about how being fearful can really make our personal world small. There could be so many things that we never do, or try to do, simply because we are afraid.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to take up extreme sports or go bungee jumping off cliffs or high bridges – but I think I might take Floozy through the car wash again!

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