Thursday, April 12, 2007

Spring cleaning

Now that Spring is here, I have a new lease of life to tackle the household tasks that have been mounting up over the winter. So, I have already started stripping hideous green wallpaper in my daughter's bedroom (much to her amusement) and I am contemplating cleaning out the kitchen cupboards. I don't know whether it is the longer days or the prospect of better weather, but I find that I do get into a cleaning frame of mind in the Springtime.

As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that I was long overdue for a spiritual "spring clean" and I realised I need to set aside some time for that. You know how it is - the busyness of everyday life can quickly result in our lives feeling cluttered and then it is all too easy to feel as if we are drifting in our relationship with God. It is good to take time every so often (preferably more often than just in the Spring!) to get away from distractions for a few hours or even a day and, by meditating on Scripture and praying, refocus our walk with God.

The picture of cleaning up a house has some parallels with how I can take stock in my Christian life. I should go through every "room" and look at what needs attention; in other words, think through all the different areas in my life and pray for discernment about whether I am living the way God would want. Am I honouring God in my marriage, with my children, in my studies, work or church activities, and in the way I use my leisure time? Am I overcommitted and perhaps doing something that someone else should be doing? Are there broken relationships where I need to seek or grant forgiveness?

But perhaps the most important job is to clean out the "cupboards". Often, I find things in our cupboards that I have completely forgotten we had. Similarly, I must take time praying over sin in my life, asking God to show me where I have domesticated sins so that I am no longer aware of the hold they have on me. In fact, this should be a daily activity:
It is our duty to be "perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor 7:1); to be "growing in grace" every day (1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18); to be "renewing our inward man day by day" (2 Cor 4:16). Now, this cannot be done without the daily mortifying of sin. Sin sets its strength against every act of holiness and against every degree we go to. Let not that man think he makes any progress in holiness who walks not over the bellies of his lusts.
John Owen, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers.

So perhaps before I tackle the kitchen cupboards, I need to make a time to do some "heart cleaning". Maybe you could make some time for that too.


Emily said...

Thank you for your insights on doing some spiritual spring cleaning. With all the ideas about cleaning the house going around it is very refreshing to be reminded that I should be doing the same thing in my heart!
Emily Luehrmann
Carrubbers Christian Centre

kissesfromheaven said...

You are a huge blessing to me. Many times you have challenged me in my journey of faith. So thank you. I have tagged you with the "Thinking Blogger Award" Stop by my site to see what to do next. :)