Earlier today I was cleaning our bathroom. It really needed it.
I didn’t notice anything particularly bad or dirty about the bathroom prior to starting. I spend so much time in there that everything seemed okay. But I knew it was about time for it to be done. I could kind of just feel it, ya know?
As I was was in the process of cleaning, of bending in weird ways and nearly sweating from scrubbing and sweeping, I realized something ironic.
This is the place my wife and I come to get clean. To get dressed up and look our best. Where we go to have the most privacy. And yet, right now, it seems like it’s the dirtiest place in the house.
That struck me, and even made me stop what I was doing to think about it.
A pretty dirty place is where I go to get clean.
Now I don’t want to automatically pull a metaphor out and juke you. But it’s worth sitting with for a second and thinking about it.
And as I’ve sat with that throughout the afternoon, I think I can say that it’s true about my life.
To get my heart clean, my thoughts clean, my spirit clean, the places God invites me into aren’t necessarily sparkling. Often, a safe place in my head is a place that doesn’t necessarily look bad or dirty, but is comfortable and I spend so much time in there anyways, I don’t notice the muck and the suck.
But if I step back, when I have some time, and just kind of feel like some cleaning should probably be done, even just a little bit, I get a better view of the reality of the state of that place. It’s actually not much different than our bathroom was today – dusty, grimy, questionable.
After I cleaned and tidied up, wiped the corners and the unseen surfaces, I opened the window.
Fresh, new air came rolling in.
It didn’t really take that long to clean and hit refresh on the bathroom, but I don’t really ever seem to want to do it.
But now, after going there and just doing it? Man, it’s so much nicer to be in there. And after being with God, it’s much nicer to be in my head or my heart once there’s some clean air.
The wonderful thing about God inviting me into the dirty places of my life is that He does the cleaning, not me. I just take a little initiative and step in.
I’m sure I’ll soon forget about it and go back to overlooking the buildup and the dust. And it will get dirty again, that’s a guarantee. But for now, I understand the necessity of making a choice to go in, to accept the invitation, to clean up, and allow myself to be cleaned up.