The Old Rag

One morning, as I got in my car to go to work, I noticed that there was an old rag inside one of my cup holders. Now, I recognized it as belonging to my son. The problem was that the night before, I had picked him up from his karate class and I am certain that there was no old rag in my cup holder… Certainly, I would have noticed and I would have said something along the lines of “ewww get that out of here”!(☺)..

Anyways, so I grabbed the old rag and threw it behind me.. ‘’I’ll get it later’’ I said… I was annoyed and began to murmur ’this kid, why did he leave this here and when?? He’s always leaving a mess in my car, hmm but I don’t remember this rag here last night, weird’… etc. 

As I continued driving, I looked down and immediately realized that my hot coffee had spilled all over the place… I was in the middle of the road, cars in front of me and behind me; certainly I was not pulling over. While still driving and keeping one eye on the road, I looked everywhere even in my glove compartment looking for paper towels, napkins or the wipes I usually keep in my car… nothing… The only thing I could think of right away to clean up that mess was that old rag..

As I swallowed my pride and humbly reached behind me trying to find the rag I just carelessly threw back, God spoke to me. Many things came to my heart and I knew immediately that it was God. He said ‘In the same way that you threw this old useless rag to the back of your car, I made it work out for your good; it cleaned up your mess’. That was the first thought… Then came many… ‘Be careful how you treat those that you think are useless to you, because you may find that maybe one day, you will need that very same thing.. Even if it’s not for you, it could be for something or someone connected to you. This rag was not directly for me, it was for my car, to clean up the mess I made with my coffee… At that moment I did not have the tools I needed to clean it up, but that old rag is all I found and it helped me clean up that mess. At that moment, I was actually thankful for that old rag… 

God also brought to mind my son, whom I was murmuring about just a few minutes ago… How quickly we are to judge the actions of others or why people do what they do… At that moment, I was actually thankful to him and thought ‘man I should text him and say hey thanks for the old rag buddy’!

What I’m saying is that we never know why things happen or why people do what they do, but we should learn to show people grace, learn to be patient because God can always turn it around for our good. Sometimes God is using little Jonny to provide the old rag God knew I would need the very next day… (lesson learned)!

Now I am not suggesting that we keep old rags in our cars or in our lives… No! But what I am offering is a thought that perhaps the next time you find yourself around an old rag (or something/someone despised); realize that it’s been through a thing or two… But just because it’s old and doesn’t fit our standard doesn’t mean it’s useless… The old rag might still work… The bible says in 1Corinthians 1:27 God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are. Furthermore, in verse 28, God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 

I believe that God did not allow me to see it there the night before because I would have certainly gotten in His way and taken it out of the car without learning anything. You see, sometimes God withholds some truths from us until we are ready to receive it and possibly learn from it. The old rag is exactly what I needed that morning and I am thankful that the old rag was in my car. Sometimes, there is a message in the mess.
Be encouraged!
© 2021 ~ Carmen Adolphus