I love decorating! I love setting things out to create a mood in a room. I love pulling out my Rubbermaid bins marked “Fall” and looking through to decide what to use this year and where to use it. I love looking at how other people decorate and then using their ideas to create my own. I love lighting a candle, making coffee and having people over after I’ve just redecorated.
But, I hate cleaning, especially deep cleaning. I hate scrubbing the floor boards that get all scuffed up. I hate cleaning windows. I hate using the attachments on the vacuum to clean the corners and along the walls. I hate cleaning the bedroom doors that some how get disgustingly dirty. I hate cleaning the shower and cleaning behind the toilet. I hate cleaning out closets and under beds. I hate really just diving in and doing what needs to be done.
And not just cleaning, but I also hate the home maintenance that you have to do. I hate scraping paint off wooden trim in and outside the house and then repainting. I hate cleaning out the dryer vent duct work. I hate pulling weeds. I hate replacing or repairing things that have broken. Pretty much I hate things that involve labor… I think I’m pretty lazy.
So what do I do? I constantly only surface clean and then decorate to make it warm and inviting. And usually it is pretty warm and inviting for guests (as long as I know they are coming). But then if you look closely, you’ll see the layer of dust, you’ll see the dirty floorboards, you’ll see the unrepaired cracks and chipped paint. Which, really those things wouldn’t be so bad, except that ultimately these types of things when ignored become bigger more expensive jobs down the road. These types of things ultimately lead to my home losing its value.
I think I do that with my spiritual life too. I decorate and surface clean up myself a lot. I get a new outfit, I fix my hair and put make-up on. I go for a run. I talk about God, talk to God and read the Bible. But I think it has been staying on the surface, safe level. I don’t really get flat on my face before God and say, “Here I am, chip away at anything in me that is not worthy of you, repair anything that is not fully focused on you, replace anything that is not bringing you glory.” Instead I’m saying, “OK, lets not worry about what’s down deep in my heart, let’s just take what’s here and make it look good.”
Ultimately I am not living fully surrendered to God. I’m not sure what I’m scared of, maybe I’m not sure really how to… but I know that ultimately, like my home, if some of these things in my heart are ignored, they will lead to bigger problems down the road. And these things will ultimately lead to me losing my value – not my value to God, I’ll always be fully loved – but perhaps my value in my service for God and my value in my relationships to others and my value in my quality of life.
And so I press on… and maybe this weekend I’ll tackle one of the deeper cleaning jobs in my home and perhaps I’ll stop talking about fully surrendering to God and really let him start chipping away…