Are You Smarter than a Washer?

0 comments Posted on January 29, 2016

Dianne Matthewsby Dianne Neal Matthews

I know this sounds silly, but I’ll say it anyway: I resent my washer. It’s not because I hate doing laundry; I actually enjoy it. It’s not because the machine is old; we bought it just a few years ago. Bottom line is, my washer thinks it’s smarter than I am.

Once I put the clothes in, the machine locks the lid and basically tells me, “Go away. I’ll take over now.” With my old washer, I chose the water level at the beginning, but often checked it after the tub filled to see if I wanted to add more. Sometimes I wanted to use water that was almost hot. So I started with hot, then periodically checked the temperature as the machine filled to see when to switch to cold. I often monitored the suds level during the wash cycle to decide if I wanted to add a second rinse.

I can’t do any of that with my new washer. I have to commit to the temperature and number of rinse cycles before the washing starts. I don’t have the option to choose the water level—the egotistical thing decides how much water is needed by weighing the clothes after I push the start button—and after it locks me out.

WasherStill, this washer often needs my help. Like many new machines, it’s made with an open tub; it doesn’t have the agitator in the center. That means that small loads easily get lopsided during spinning. When that happens, the machine starts dinging, flashing “UE” (for uneven load), and unlocks the lid.

The last time I had to rearrange some clothes, it dawned on me that I was looking at a life lesson. Without that agitator, loads get unbalanced and the clothes don’t seem to get as clean. Even though I’ve always thought I would be a better person if I enjoyed a problem-free life, maybe the agitators in my life play an important role. Those circumstances or people help me have a more balanced life, and they wash away things like self-centeredness and impatience.

One Year Women of the BibleMaybe my washing machine is trying to teach me something. And maybe it’s smarter than I thought.

Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.


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