under the hoodIt looked like something from the old Addam’s Family TV show. If I hadn’t known it was black, I’d have thought it was supposed to be a chalky grey. It was adorned in cobwebs – new and old. I pawed at my face like a blind bear trying to pull the invisible and evasive spider webs from my face and mouth as I approached the old beast.

Four and a half months of neglect left the beast looking neglected and homeless. “Man, I hope it hasn’t been too long,” I said with dread and laziness. “It could start?” My wife answered with hope. “I hope you’re right, but I doubt it,” I answered trying to sound more like a realist than the pessimist sulking right below the surface.

I unlocked the door and crawled inside – the dome light lit hope inside of me for enough juice to spark life into the old beast. I closed the dusty door to shut the interior lights off in order to conserve every bit of precious life left in the groggy battery. I slid the key in, exhaled in hope, placed my foot over the accelerator to be ready to pump the daylights out it if need be.

It’s funny how a person acts in a physical way when it’s not in their physical control to begin with. I subconsciously tightened my jaw, furrowed my brow, tensed my body, and white knuckled the steering wheel with my left hand, “C-mon!” I whispered to the old SUV that is only used when something needs to be hauled.

I haven’t given any support or care to the old beast but still expected it to be there for me – actually demanded it. “C-mon, C-mon!” I said getting louder with each word as I turned the key, “Waw… Waw…Waw-Waw-Waw-Waw-Waw-Waw-Waw-Click-Click-Click-Click-Click-Click-Click…”Brow rests, jaw slacks, blood rushes back into the fingers, chin drops to the chest in regret and remorse.

It almost started, just not quite enough juice to bring the old beast to life. “Oh, man!” I groaned… Why don’t I think ahead and back it in if I’m going to abandon the old beast?” I asked my silly self. I popped the dusty hood, ripping Spiderman’s home in half in the process. Great… Rats nests all over the engine compartment, the biggest one on top of the battery… Rat feces all around…

“I hope the rats haven’t chewed through the wires,” I told my wife en route to dig out the trickle charger and electrical cord. It dawned on me that the old beast and I have a few things in common. When we don’t get the proper care that gives life from our Master – the dirty things of this world move in and take over… If left unattended death is imminent.

The old beast doesn’t have free will, but I do…Neglect, laziness, and apathy are the breeding grounds for the poisonous and filthy enemies of our spiritual lives… A peek under the hood of our hearts will reveal the hand of the Father or disgusting remains of this world’s treasures…