Pay Attention to the Floor Mats by Patty LaRoche


Patty LaRoche

For six days Dave and I had driven our mini-van in Mexico and never noticed that our floor mats were not ours.  These were thin and shredded in spots—clearly not the nice, thick ones we had paid extra for when we purchased the vehicle four years ago.

The only explanation was they had been replaced at the car wash—one we frequent regularly—the previous week.  Dave had gone alone and had sat outside under an umbrella while attendants dried our car.  When he checked their work, he noticed the shiny dashboard and nice buffing job on the car’s exterior but paid no attention to the floor.

Predictably, Hubby relied on his “I speaka no Spanish” excuse. “We need to go back there, Patty,” he said, “and you need to tell them that they gave us the wrong floor mats.”  Thanks to Google translate, that was no problema.  I explained to the manager what had happened.  He took our floor mats, walked to the back of the store and returned with others we didn’t recognize.  I understood a few words like “tomorrow” and “10:00” and “check the cameras,” so the next morning, I drove back to the carwash.  This time I was told to wait until Gabriel, a senior manager, met me there.  Perhaps he and I would look at the cameras together?

Gabriel spoke little English, but when I questioned the cameras, he said—at least, I think he said—that the security company had the code to view the tapes, and it was impossible to reach the people who worked there.  Hmmm.  He asked to look inside my mini-van. Since they had failed to remove the mat in the trunk of our vehicle, he could see the quality of the ones we were missing.  He assured me that there were three stores in Mazatlán that “probably” carried them.

They didn’t, but Gabriel’s subsequent text was a pleasant surprise.  If I came by the car wash at noon the next day, they would give me $140 in U.S. dollars.  I told Dave that he needed to go with me because I probably was going to be abducted and tortured, but he told me that he had confidence I could handle myself just fine.                                                                                       I mean, how sweet is that?

The fact that I am writing this article tells you nothing happened to me.  I drove up, the manager handed me the cash, apologized, and I drove home.  When I shared my story with a girlfriend who lives in Mazatlán, she said that the same thing happened to her husband on three different occasions. Three times?  I mean, one time was enough.  Never again will I get into my vehicle at a car wash without looking at my floor mats…and after reading this article, you probably won’t either.

Not a life-and-death matter, of course, and this one was resolved, but it reminded me of another area where I take things for granted…and sometimes not even three times is sufficient to get my attention.  In Hebrews 2:1, Paul warns us of such danger: We must pay closer attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Paul is not talking to those who never accept Jesus as their Lord; he is talking to Christians who don’t learn their lesson the first time and heed the little things that then cause them problems.

One Sunday on the golf course instead of at church turns into weekends of buddy- time. One time talking behind the boss’s back starts a rumor mill that won’t be stopped.   One peek at a porn sight leads to an addiction that ruins a marriage. One excuse after another finding no time to read the Bible or talk with God causes a faith to back-slide

Not paying attention to floor mats is not the end of the world.  Not paying attention to our faith, however?  That’s an entirely different story.

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