“Rumble-rumble, screech, thump!” My mom cocked her head toward the ceiling as she listened to the sounds of my room-cleaning upstairs. I loved to re-arrange my furniture! I well remember our regular Saturday cleaning routine, a requirement before we could pursue other interests, and especially the more thorough spring or fall cleanings.
Howevermuch we may grumble about the cleaning process, or perhaps like some of us who enjoy it, there is great satisfaction in a job completed. Something accomplished!
For everyday cleaning, it’s amazing what even a few minutes of straightening or putting away things can do. Lost or misplaced items are re-discovered, and we no longer have to hunt for them. Dirty clothes in the hamper. Clean dishes put up. A spot of clutter removed. Trash carried out…
Then there is the deep cleaning, removing accumulated dust and grim of everyday living and use. It requires more effort and intentional planning. Neglecting the everyday or more frequent cleaning can make that job a lot harder too!
This makes me think of “heart cleaning.” Am I as conscious of the condition of my heart, such as my thoughts and intentions or faith, as I am of my home or other surroundings? The psalmist pled, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” * Clean or pure; not polluted or filthy. He knew that this was a “deep cleaning” job! This was going to require a lot of help!
It’s so easy to let things accumulate isn’t it? Just like dust or clutter can build up in our home, it can also build up within us. That dissatisfaction or irritation. A wayward word. An apology never offered. An unhealthy thought or grudge. The list can be long!
Just like the everyday cleaning of our home or other places, caring for our daily heart cleaning is a positive step and builds our relationship with God, who knows us best. Paul called attention to our need for the day’s accounting when he cautioned us to not let the sun go down on our anger. *
It’s hard for me to turn loose of things sometimes. When things do accumulate or bowl us over, and they will at times, and when those seasons arrive for the deep cleaning, we don’t have to go it alone. God hears our call and pulls out the heavy-duty cleaners, creating “a new and right spirit” within. My prayer and anticipation for us is that we will invite Him to come on in, and so welcome a new season.
• Communication is a circle not a one-way line • The gift of language is a foundation upon which all is built • Fruitful communication requires more than one sender • Take care not to spend all your time in self-absorption • Touch another life in positive support and compassion • Affirm worth and heed subtle calls for help • Words once spewed from our mouth cannot be recovered • Flashy ads and gadgets can distract us from what matters • Seek knowledge with careful thought • Value learning for a fuller and richer life • When dark clouds gather we need each other • Giving someone your full attention is priceless • The sound of a caring voice can bring sunshine to a life • Listen to God who hears our calls
• Cherish the moments you have each day • Unfulfilled need is a deep distress • We need each other to clean up messes • Soft and comforting words bring relief • Absorb the good qualities of others in your life • Consider the commonplace to gain appreciation • Recognize what is important before it is gone • Knowing we are useful gives us confidence • Extend your vision and respect each other • Inner quality brings joy and contentment • Chewing on worries only creates new worries • Look to the Maker and know He is close at hand