Posted tagged ‘car wash’

When Almost Clean is not Enough

June 9, 2017

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

Washing cars to raise money is an idea that has been around for many decades.  You have seen people, usually teenagers, holding hand painted signs and trying to capture the attention of passersby.  Somewhere near their location is another group busily soaping and rinsing cars, and occasionally soaking each other.

                Often the price for a car wash is largely emblazoned on the homemade sign, maybe $3 or $5.  Some organizations simply ask for a donation which, in my mind, easily could exceed the standard rate.  From time to time there may be an organization such as a church youth group advertising a “Free, No Gimmicks” car wash.  Thoughtful youth leaders are teaching their students to give back to the community, and this event serves as their community project or ministry event.

                I distinctly remember a car wash our church youth group held when I was a teen.  We gained permission to use the parking lot at Third National Bank on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville, Tennessee.  This busy 4-lane road was a great location, and the bank was situated on the corner of two busy streets.

                Our 40-voice youth choir was planning a tour through the southeast all the way to Florida and back, singing in local churches each night and enjoying a few day trips for fun and exercise.  I was among the younger of the team members, and this would be my first big tour and my first car wash fundraiser.

                Somewhat late in the day a nice, large conversion van pulled in for a wash.  It was comical to watch the older teens try to reach the roof of the vehicle with their soapy sponges.  There were several students surrounding this van in hopes to finish it quickly.  Once it was washed and dried, our youth leader came over to inform us that the driver was unhappy with the job that was done, and that we were to do the entire vehicle again.

                After a more careful going over, the driver complained again that there still remained a couple of spots that needed washing.  Dutifully striving to make the customer happy, I suspect that there were murmurings amongst us that were out of the earshot of the owner.  Once satisfied, he laid out the cash – – a twenty dollar bill, probably 5 times what we were charging other vehicles.

                Of course, we suddenly loved that big van and its generous owner.  That’s when our youth leader informed us that the driver had planned all along to create that scenario.  He was impressed by the attitude of the kids who did what they were asked to do, yet with no glaring looks or smirks at the owner throughout the task.

                That day we learned that even though most customers were stopping simply to support the youth group, they should be able to expect a job well done.  Further, we learned that our behavior reflected on the entire group, in fact the entire church, and ultimately Jesus himself.

                Well, it is car wash season.  I hope you will find it in your heart to support youth organizations whose causes are worthy of your generosity.  After all, don’t you deserve to be driving the streets of your town in a shiny, clean vehicle?!


Being Productive Can also Be Energizing

June 11, 2015

by Dr. Steven Callis

There is a local car wash company that offered their basic wash for free during the month of their grand opening.  Five months later, that basic wash is still free, and who does not love the look of a freshly washed vehicle?  One can use the free vacuum, get the free wash, and be back on the road within fifteen minutes, using the savings on a burger and shake.  What a deal.

However, there is also the option of spending two or three hours at home giving the vehicle that personal touch: wash, wax, windows, and detailing the interior.  The average person likely would not notice the difference between the results of the two options, but doing the work oneself seems to instill a renewed love and appreciation for the vehicle.  Thoughts of trading for a newer model dissipate because of the time spent to make it appear newer than it did three hours earlier.

The same principle seems to exist pertaining to lawns.  A freshly mown lawn smells good and looks good.  And while a professional may actually do a better job on my lawn than I could, there is something about sitting back and admiring its beauty, having spent three hours walking behind the mower, edging the driveway, sweating off a pound or so, and sipping on a nice cold (and well deserved) glass of water, lemonade, or tea.

Today there seems to be a trend of entitlement among some people whose expectations have little to do with the principle of sowing and reaping; expecting the harvest without working the soil.  However, as the old adage goes, “freedom is not free.”  Yes, we enjoy the benefits, privileges, and rights that accompany American citizenship.  There is, however, a certain level of ethic and responsibility that is expected in return for those blessings.

The attitude of entitlement does not protect those advantages, but in fact, gradually takes them farther from our reach.  Admittedly, it is much easier and more time efficient to take advantage of the free car wash, but it is not necessarily the better option when all is said and done.  There is a positive kind of pride that comes from doing a thing, doing it right, and doing it well.

You may have correctly guessed that I just spent some time with my pickup truck, now thinking how nice it looks for a ’99 model.  It was tiring, but somehow I feel energized, gratified, and productive.  The principle behind that feeling rings true for most areas of life.

Well, there is more to be said, but right now I think I will go for a drive.  Have a blessed day!