Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ultimate Cleaning

Yesterday was my favorite day of the month: the cleaning lady came! Several months ago, I had heard about someone going through a difficult time who was looking for a cleaning job. I decided to hire her to clean before we had an open house at the parsonage. I ended up hiring her for good. She does a wonderful job!

So obviously I love having a clean home where for whatever brief period of time it seems, all is well. Everything is in it's place, the crumbs have been vacuumed, the kitchen floor is NOT sticky, my white kitchen sink that is just gross, sparkles. But most of all, things seem more manageable.

A week or so passes and the mess, the crumbs, the dust, the spills not to mention the homework, the laundry, ministry etc. all begin to pile up. I feel overwhelmed (and I have a helpful family where we all help). I know I cannot do it myself. Like a superhero, my lady shows up and all feels well again; I feel like I will not only survive my week but maybe even thrive a bit.

While I do not want to equate my cleaning lady with Jesus (though she is pretty awesome ;-) This has reminded me of my faith journey. My dirty house is a lot like sin. Sin can muddy up my heart. At first, I might not even notice, just like those crumbs or the spills that I thought had been wiped clean. I may not repent. I may not open my heart up to God to be cleansed because I don't allow myself to see it. But pretty soon, I am overwhelmed by how I have let the sins captivate my heart and how I've strayed from my relationship with God. When I do, I call out to God with the lyrics of a great hymn: "Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me."

I recognize that my heart needs to be cleansed by God. It is a job I cannot do it for myself. Only my Savior can. My spirit is renewed. I feel freed to joyfully follow God and fulfill the calls on my life. This holy season of Lent is a time to recognize the ways you turn from God and to allow God to clean your heart and renew your spirit. It is not a one time process but rather something we need to do, time and time again. The God of all grace pours forgiveness on us and makes us a new creation. So allow yourselves to be cleaned my friend. It is worth it!