I’m pretty sure it is John Piper in Future Grace who uses the illustration of the muddy windshield, spattered with the mud of unbelief, and how we need a perspective adjustment to see straight. This is a helpful metaphor, because sin really muddies our understanding.

Once a little resentment, a little discontent, a little disappointment, or a little envy steals into our hearts and minds,  nothing is in focus any more. The devil loves to fish in troubled waters, and the water can get pretty stirred up in a very short time.

Once a woman told me she was ready to leave her husband. When I asked her the obvious question of why? she said it was because he always left his socks on the floor. She needed a perspective adjustment.

If a woman is minding her own business, doing her work cheerfully, when along comes discontent disguised as friendly concern and splatters her clean windshield, she has to do something fast. Either she can deal with it immediately (turn on the wipers!) or she can let it sit. And discontent is never static. It grows. One discontent leads to another, and pretty soon the windshield is positively plastered with mud. No wonder you can’t see anything and you get a warped perspective on the road ahead.

Gratitude is a good way to clear the mess away. Count your blessings. Thank God for His preservation, protection, kindness, forgiveness. Gratitude is not a substitute for confession, but rather what should follow on the heels of confession.

Years ago before I was married, I was restless, and I thought my problem must be in my location. I told the Lord I would go to the ends of the earth for Him if only He would get me out of this town. I must have realized as I prayed that I was discontent. So I went for a walk and began to thank God for everything I could think of that was admirable about this place. I got creative. But the fog cleared. My perspective on life was revived. He changed my attitude. And, some thirty years later, I am still here. Not chafing. I actually like it here.

But the point is that women often get their perspective warped by many means. Could be someone sinned against you. Could be you got tired and sorry for yourself. Either way, you start to see all the negatives and none of the positives. Until the windshield gets cleared off, no one can hope to see what is really going on. Once the mud and filth is wiped away, you can see the sunshine, the grass, the blue sky again. Many blessings. Too many to count.

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5 thoughts on “Windshields

  1. What a wonerful post. Might we also be wise enough to see that the dirt and crud deposited on our windshields often comes from other drivers! They can spray our windshields with an awful lot of stuff that decreases our vision. Hmmm… Kiind of like other people? What do we do? We use our wipers and our windshield cleaner. That involves us doing something more than complaining and letting others limit our vision. It involes more than cries to God to make our hughway clear and our windshields clean. It is also more economical to purchase windshield cleaner in gallon containers during periods of inclement weather!

  2. Thank you Nancy, needed it this morning. I’ve been so exhausted from baby being sick, reading a book that is doing surgery on my heart, a toddler that needs consistent discipline, an almost 9 year old that I can’t keep up with (bursting with life and joy and ideas) and a teenager who needs me more than all of them combined. These are all GOOD things of course, what’s not good is letting exhaustion warp my perspective. Which I must confess that I have, so time to just stop it, confess and get on with my day with a smile on my face as I see all the very very very good things the Lord has bestowed upon me and my family.

    I thank God upon every remembrance of you. And Geoff and I have been listening and re-listening and re-re-listening to the “Loving Little ones” sermons by Pastor Wilson. The Lord is SO timely with His answers. Thank you for ministering to us.

    Here’s a plug for that sermon series, if this doesn’t put a spring in your step, I don’t know what will. Here you all go:

  3. What a great illustration! I read “Future Grace” years ago, and don’t even remember that – maybe I should pick it up once again.

  4. Encouraging reminder not to tire of making attitude adjustments. I have to remember that my attitude is like a river, and I can’t stop swimming against the current because I never stay put.

  5. This is a superb metaphor, Nancy. Thank you so much for passing it along. This one, along with Rachel’s about the tupperware neatly stacked in the cupboards, are really helpful reminders for me in those moments when I feel I’m beginning to swerve off the road (now to mix metaphors!). They’re also really helpful tools for teaching our 2, 4, and 6-year olds about the loveliness of a cheerful, content heart.

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