It's that time of year, time when my thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Today I woke up with the list of spring cleaning chores running through my mind; wash the windows and clean all the blinds and curtains, clean out the pantry and kitchen cupboards, and the list goes on.
Out of curiosity I looked up the origin of spring cleaning. As I expected, it has it roots in the fact that the Israelites cleaned their homes to remove anything with leaven in preparation for Passover. They were relentless to remove every little leaven containing crumb that might be on the shelves or floors.
While I'm not Jewish, I've embraced the "tradition" of spring cleaning. Deep cleaning in the fall before the holidays and in the spring after winter works well for me. It helps me to go past just keeping things picked up for appearances sake. It keeps me from collecting too much junk in the hidden places.
I'm neither Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist or Lutheran. These are the Christian churches that traditionally observe Lent, forty days of fasting and repentance before Easter.
Just as I don't have to be Jewish to embrace the benefits of spring cleaning, I don't have to be a Presbyterian to see the benefits of having a Lenten attitude of fasting and repentance. You see, it's not just my house that needs a good deep cleaning in the hidden places, it's me.
I'm fifty six years old and I've loved Jesus since I was a little girl. The spiritual junk I collect isn't readily observed by my outward behavior. What I tend to collect are the things you'd only observe in a deep spring cleaning. You'd need to move the furniture and open the closets and cupboards and drawers to see it. You'd need to go into the basement with a good flashlight and take a look around. It's hidden and deadly, like a toxic mold. My spiritual junk is toxic attitudes such as selfishness, resentment, offense, criticalness and faultfinding. I sometimes collect toxic attitudes like I do thrift store knick knacks. If I don't submit to a deep cleaning regularly, they take over the place.
This year, I'm calling in the spring cleaning big guns for some help. I'm not asking for help with my house cleaning. What I need help with is my heart cleaning. I'm asking the Holy Spirit who dwells within me to move the furniture and open the closets and cupboards and drawers. I'm asking Him to go into the basement with His light and take a look around. I'm giving Him permission to expose all the places where I hide my junk. I'm giving Him the tools He needs to give the place a good scrub down with the Word of God. When He uncovers something ugly, I'm going to face the truth about my inward mess and ask Jesus to apply His sin killing blood to my toxic attitudes. Then I'm going to ask Him to fill the whole place up with His Presence, with His love, with the glorious fresh spring scent of His fragrance. When He's done I want Him to sit back, relax, put His feet up and abide in me. I want Him to be able to rest in silent satisfaction at the good work He has done in me.
I know God loves me as is. I know I am pre-approved by Him. I also know He wants me to live free of things that are spiritually poisonous and deadly, the little hidden bits of leaven that eventually leaven the whole batch of dough. When He searches them out and finds them, I don't feel condemned, I feel well loved. He wants me to to live free and unhindered, and that's what I want too.
So it is with joy that I utter the words, "let the spring cleaning begin!"
I am joining Jennifer Lee in a journey to remove #LoveIdols from our lives. The book becomes available April 1st – Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes. It is available now for pre-order. Come join the movement on Facebook too.
Also joining THOUGHT PROVOKING THURSDAYS
at 3-D Lessons for Life