Sunday, September 7, 2014

Something About Cleaning

 Every time I clean I can't help but feeling there's something innately spiritual about it.  Don't get me wrong, cleaning is one of my least favorite things.  It's right up there with paperwork, and brussel sprouts.  My natural cleaning-bent is to spread out clutter, not pick up after myself as I go, and then go on a giant cleaning spree out of necessity usually brought on by impending visitors.  Or when I will clean, I will clean just enough to keep people from judging me.  Sometimes I even go to extreme lengths to make my house appear cleaner than it actually is.  I have to think that there is some correlation between the way I clean the house and the way I keep my heart clean.

My heart needs constant upkeep.  I walk around in a broken world with a broken mending heart.  I think this is what Jesus was talking about while he was washing his disciples feet.

John 13:6-10:  "He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”

My heart has had a bath.  I have been made clean from the moment I accepted Jesus as my King.  The Holy Spirit takes up residence in me ensuring that there's a point of uncleanliness I'll never reach again.  It's just that each day I think thoughts, say words, and take actions that are, well, dirty.  And I consume.  I consume media that tells me it's all about me, all I need is more stuff, I should do whatever I feel like doing.  I hear lies from an enemy that wants to kill and destroy me like, "You are not beautiful.  You are not loved.  You are not valuable."  I watch the people around me do things that seem fun and harmless, but that ultimately lead to destruction and heartache.  My heart needs daily cleansing.  My feet need to be washed.

Basically, Philip and I hadn't been keeping up with the daily cleansing of our home.  So, we made a plan for keeping it clean.  We discussed how often each chore will be done, and who is responsible for what.
It seems that along with our little triplex rental, my heart has been getting a little funky lately.  I have been spending time in the word and prayer approximately three days a week.  Sometimes I keep myself just "clean" enough so that people won't judge me, or I put on a show to fool people into thinking I'm clean.  Kind of like using (if you will) *spiritual* dry-shampoo and perfume on days you don't have time to shower.

This sort of cleansing isn't going to cut it anymore.  In college I spent time with God each day and one day a week I spent an extra long amount of time with him.  However, I had so much more free time in college.  As I've transitioned into life after top ramen and all-nighters, it's been tough scheduling in a quiet time.  My only really free time is in the morning, and after 4 PM (5:30 during soccer season, just call me Coach).  I've got planning, and grading, and a husband that likes to be fed and have my attention once in awhile.    My goal is to get to five Quiet Times a week.  I know this won't happen overnight, but I am going to work towards it.  I believe that it is a worthwhile investment.  I've observed that on days when I unplug and get alone to connect with God everything in my life--my marriage, my attitude, even my lessons--tend to go better.  If you think of it, pray for me because I know that forming this habit won't be easy.  Let's just say, discipline isn't my spiritual gift ;).  Here's to the pursuit of a clean heart and home.

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