Before and after

light-beforeIt’s Labor Day weekend, and I have an adequate list of labors to keep me busy for the duration in the yard and at the keyboard. One thing, at least, is already done.

My wife’s car had developed cataracts. It’s not uncommon these days to see cars of a certain age whose headlights are glazed over, making them unsightly to see in the daytime, and unsafe to see by at night.

There’s no easy fix for it other than paying someone else to clean them up, but they can be cleaned. I bought a kit at the auto parts store and followed the instructions. There’s a “clarifying solution” to apply that will take care of minor stuff, but the baked on gunk requires lots of elbow grease while employing several rounds of successively finer sanding pads with a lubricating liquid (I did it twice), then another go with the clarifying solution, and the application of a clear protective coat after that.

light-afterIt took an hour and a half or more, and the result isn’t perfect, but it comes pretty close to the “before and after” pictures on the box: it was worth the effort.

Focused work can lead to meditative thoughts. Humans don’t have headlights, but we do tend to accumulate gunky habits and attitudes that could use a good scrubbing. Sometimes we fail to see or respond to human needs around us because selfishness clouds our sight.

It takes some effort to clean up our act or clarify our vision, but the difference between before and after can be well worth the labor.

Tony Cartledge

About Tony Cartledge

Tony W. Cartledge is contributing editor of Baptists Today, in addition to teaching Old Testament studies and various ministry courses at Campbell University Divinity School. He formerly served as editor of the Biblical Recorder, newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and as a pastor for 26 years. Tony is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Southeastern Seminary and Duke University, where he earned a Ph.D. He is the author of several books including the Smyth & Helwys commentary on First and Second Samuel and Telling Stories: Tall Tales and Deep Truths.

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