Read the owners manual to avoid a mess

“Beep. Beep.” Those were the sounds blaring through the cell phone when I was talking to my friend.

She said, “Wait, my car is going crazy.” Then I heard this noise like a spaceship was landing or one was taking off. Then the line went dead. Had she been captured by a UFO?

I called her back, and it was still extremely loud, but I could make out, “Car wash. My car always goes crazy in the car wash. Every warning light and sound goes off when it goes through the tunnel.”


Laughter bounced off the cell towers as we finished our conversation, but my mind was still spinning. All this car wash business reminded me of another friend and a car wash.

My friend Carol was in her fancy, brand new car that sported a sunroof. The day was beautiful, so she opened it up and let the wind blow through her hair. As she passed a car wash she thought this would be a good day to give her new car a bath. She went for the deluxe wash and wax.

She pulled into the car wash, shut her sunroof and waited her turn. As her car tracked through the wash, she felt a drip. Pushing buttons she completely opened her roof and the colored foam whipped up a lather as ribbons of scrubbers flapped her head.

She’d never opened the manual so things went from bad to worse. Only after the car was a pool of sudsy water and she was a soaked rat, did she manage to close the top. Oh, what a day. I’m still enjoying the vision etched into my mind.

That’ll preach. Now, a sunroof is a wonderful thing, but as I think about Carol and her very, terrible, bad, bad day … In this instance Carol wasn’t rockin’ the sun roof.

Often we leave our lives open to direct hits. Being carefree or careless can feel so good as the breeze whips across our lives. Often times if we aren’t on guard, things can go terribly wrong leaving us in a wet pool or certainly messed up. We need to be ready for what’s around the corner or in the tunnel.

Know your manual. The Scriptures tell us so many times to be on guard, to be wise and my daily prayer, “Set a guard over my mouth, and a watch by my lips!” Now, there’s an opening that can get a person into a heap of trouble fast and a sudsy car wash might do it some good.

All said and done, South Mississippi wintery days have been very conducive to open sunroofs and warmth. Enjoy with wisdom.

May the sun shine through your roof. Keep it clean and enjoy the beauty of the day and be blessed. “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise,” (Eph 5:15) That’ll put a lid on it, y’all.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.