It's spring cleaning time. (Yes, Dave, I know. You still can't get into the room upstairs, but once you do climb your way in, you'll see I've actually cleaned a nice little circle around where I need to stand when I'm at the work table. And there are two more bags in the trash can.)
I'm going to try to be a little more thorough in my spring cleaning this year. Dave and I have lived in our Wilmington home for 19 years. That is the longest either of has ever lived in one home. And we're feeling housebound. Our (OK, largely my) stuff is taking over.
For a military family we actually didn't move very much, but we moved frequently enough that we were able to do a regular purging of unused clothing and books and stuff. When we did a tour of duty overseas we put probably half of our belongings into storage for two years. When everything was delivered to us upon our return, we started to go through the boxes. We quickly realized that this was stuff we had lived without for two years, we could continue to live without it and made a quick call for a Goodwill pickup.
We're quite settled now, and we’re having to force ourselves to purge, to clean house.
Sunday's reading from the book of Acts was the story of Saul. It was his job to persecute the new group of people calling themselves followers of Christ. It seems like God took the opportunity to do some housecleaning, or soul-cleaning. Saul was struck blind as he traveled the road to Damascus. After a conversation with Jesus, his heart was cleared of hatred, and he became the greatest champion for Christ.
Spring cleaning is a chance to get rid of those things that burden us, physically, mentally and spiritually. It's a chance to appreciate the new life around us, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Our Jewish neighbors are preparing for the festival of Passover. That definitely involves spring cleaning. Every room in the house must be cleaned of anything containing leaven Think bread, cereal, cake, cookies, pizza, pasta, beer. Think of the crumbs that accumulate over the course of a year, not just on the floor, but the bottom of the oven, the cracks of the refrigerator, the corners of the cabinets. It's a weeks-long, labor-intensive process of preparing the home. One website commented that items with leaven in them represent egotism and spiritual coarseness. These are the things that must be cleaned from our homes and our lives in order to appreciate the wonderful things God has given us.
It's work, but it's refreshing to do that spring cleaning, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Someone shared this prayer with me which talks about cleaning things from our lives:
Let us offer our hearts to the One who restores us to new life.
May we empty our hearts of all that holds us back,
so God may fill the emptiness with grace.
May our hearts overflow with praise to God.
May joy and laughter resound in our words and lives.