“Create in me a clean heart, O God…” Psalm 51:10
With warmer days comes a desire to freshen up everything for spring. One day I opened the door to allow a gentle breeze in and determined it was time to get my house in order. I decided to start by getting rid of some clutter that found its way inside over the winter months. This included a pile of magazines and books I planned to read on cold winter days but never opened. I had good intentions, but where did it get me? Before I knew it, I was sitting down and reading one of the magazines.
Around me was furniture to dust and rugs that needed vacuuming. In the kitchen sink was my cereal bowl from breakfast. By the washer was a load of clothes ready to go in as soon as I put the last load in the dryer … as
soon as I took the towels out of the dryer.
Good intentions failed to get all of the tasks completed. I thought about days past when women were adamant about spring cleaning. They had good reasons as soot from coal stoves coated the interior of the house.
Spring cleaning was a ritual that marked the end of winter and ushered in an aired out, clean home.
The tradition of spring cleaning dates back centuries. The Jews practiced spring cleaning in anticipation of Passover. Observing the Jews' exodus from Egypt included making sure their homes were free from any type of leavening. This meant that every nook and corner of the home needed cleaning.
In days past when spring cleaning arrived the participants had a monumental task ahead of them and didn’t stop until they were through or sick from exhaustion. Today, it makes more sense to take on one task at a time and see it through to completion. I decided this was a better path for me to take.
Whether it is cleaning in my home or in my heart, I find if I start with a small area I am more likely to follow through until it is finished. In my home I find that there are days when all I can do is load the dishwasher and straighten up the kitchen. In my spiritual life I try to work on one area until it is no longer a chore and comes automatically.
For example, I used to have trouble with patience and hated to wait or be kept waiting. By allowing God to work through me on my attitude over and over I finally learned the virtue of patience. Now I am able to wait
While good intentions are wonderful, it takes action to bring about change. All of us desire a clean heart so we can serve God but the cobwebs, dirt, and debris of sin need removing first. Making an effort to remove one thing at a time allows us to persevere and follow through
before moving on to the next task without being sidetracked.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: email@example.com