My mini was really dirty. Really, REALLY dirty. I had gone on a trip to the country and she got covered in bug guts. Then the hurricane hit town and I spent several days driving all over the place. She was dusty, grimy, sticky and awful. It got to the point where I didn't even enjoy seeing her or spending time with her. And then, without even realizing it, I started getting used to the dirt and not worrying about it as much. It became normal. I barely noticed the spots and splotches anymore.
This morning I took the mini to the carwash. I spent quite a lot of money to have her washed, detailed and freshened up. As I drove away, I realized my attitude toward her had changed. I suddenly enjoyed my car again.
I don't know if I'll be able to really explain this, but it made me think of how sin does the same thing in my life. At first it makes me feel dirty and in a bad mood. But if I let it go long enough, it builds up and coats everything and eventually I don't even notice it anymore. After a while it gets so bad that I have to do something about it. Getting rid of it is expensive. It usually costs me some pain and humiliation. But after I've released my hold on it, accepted God's grace and decided to finally let Him clean the grime away, I feel like everything is new and wonderful.
I shouldn't let so much time go between car-washings and heart-washings.