One of my favorite things to do after an exam or time of busyness is to clean the house. I mean, really clean the house. Wash the floors, the counters, and the little crannies in the bathroom that are quite disturbing when you really think about it…. All of that good stuff.
Usually, after one of those times, the house really needs it too. Patrick is a superstar husband and is good at keeping up with the laundry and dishes, but he is self-proclaimed to be a bit lacking in detail… He doesn’t notice the dirt in the corners like I do. So, when exams are done or when I have a chunk of time off, I tear around like a mad woman with my music turned up loud and give a good clean. Even if Patrick doesn’t think the house needs it.
I find the whole thing satisfying (especially since today it is nice enough to open the windows and really air the place out). I just love knowing that I really made the place cleaner. This time it is turning into a several day episode, as I decided that I need to sort through my old notes and my closet and such (time to purge of the notes I will no longer need, given I am done with this part of my training and also get rid of whatever I can to minimize the junk we move). I considered hammering through and doing it all today, but it is too nice out to waste the whole day cleaning, even if it is satisfying.
In church this Sunday, we talked about a different type of spring-cleaning. The type of cleaning we need to do with our lives. Basically it was a discussion of some of Paul’s letters to the church. That people were doing some things very right and other things quite wrong. He corrected where needed and gave credit where credit was due. From the outside, to most people, things may have looked okay, but maybe some other aspects needed work, some just under the surface.
It is not how long you’ve known, it only matters how much you’ve grown. –Pastor John
When it comes to spiritual maturity, some people just say, well, I have been in the church this long and therefore I am mature. But really, you need to grow and change. I question if one can ever really be fully spiritually mature… Because that would be Jesus.
So, we need to try to grow. Much like my cleaning, it does not happen if you just sit back and watch the dishes accumulate (trust me, this week, I tried that). You do need to put some effort forward. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us and to shape us, but really, we have to make an effort too. Otherwise the change is not permanent or apparent or even existent.
The pastor showed us this great video and I have put it in. It is about 10 minutes long, but well worth the watching. It had me thinking.
So, really are we willing to clean things up? Do we actually see ourselves as God’s handiwork? That we were made on purpose? And that we don’t always reflect that, but we actually can?
Personally, I don’t know if I can answer yes to all of these. Sure, I am God’s handiwork. And I do believe we were made intentionally. Each and every one. But, it takes a lot of work to clean up those nooks and crannies in my life that are messy. In fact, sometimes, I am not even sure if I know where they all are. I am sure there is a heap hidden away somewhere that I haven’t even picked up on. Honestly, I wonder if I have the time or energy to do it. But, that is the cool part. That I’m not alone in sorting this stuff out. Much like Patrick helping me with the house work, God helps with refining us. And He is much more into details. But, it isn’t easy and it can be painful (kind of like cleaning). The thing is, the finished product could surprise you. I am sure it will be satisfying. Even more so than my clean apartment.
So, to start, we need to recognize that we aren’t perfect. But, we can be made perfect. We are God’s handiwork and He wants to make it the way He intended. Pick a place in your life you feel can use some cleaning and name, then go on from there with God’s help to clean it up.