Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring Cleaning ?

We here in southern B.C. have had a long stretch of wet and dreary weather.
Then, to everyone’s great delight, on Sunday the sun cheerfully shone down from a startlingly blue sky !
How uplifting the change in weather was!

Until…. I took a look at my kitchen!!
I thought my housework was fairly up to date. In fact a neighbour dropping by last week, looked around my kitchen and commented how clean it was and said it inspired her to go home and clean hers!
But Sunday with the sun blazing through my big kitchen windows I saw otherwise!!
The sun light showed up all the streaks on the inside of my windows from previous cleaning and the dust from the rain and the wind on the outside. Every mar and mark on my counters or furniture was magnified, my floor had spots I had not seen before, dust glittered from every nook and cranny.
My heart sank and I thought, ”Where do I start?” I almost wished the sun would disappear and let my house return to its former ‘deceptively’ clean state!
But then every inherited (though winter latent) gene in me responded to the universal trigger and shouted , “SPRING CLEANING!”

I couldn’t wait to get out my cleaning supplies and get at it.
As I thought about my revenge strategy to conquer the winter residue of dust and dirt, I wondered- where did the concept or practice of spring cleaning originate ?

I did a quick Goggle search to see if I could find any information.
To my surprise the on-line Wikipedia referred to an ancient Jewish practice as a possible origin! As the spring-time, seven-day Feast of Passover drew near, every Jewish household undertook to thoroughly cleanse their home from top to bottom to make sure not even the smallest remnant of leaven remained.
Ex. 12:19“Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your house.”
Following the ‘spring cleaning’ of the entire house, they would hunt for any missed crumbs by candlelight on the evening before the holiday began. The motivation to clean every corner of their home was very strong because the penalty was severe, ”for whosoever eateth that which is leavened.. that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel”.

So perhaps ‘spring cleaning’ is more scriptural that we would have thought!!

The familiar saying, 'A picture is worth a thousand words', is so true and the common things of our life sometimes preach the best sermons.

As I stood looking aghast at how revealing the sunlight was , how no speck of dust could remain hidden … I thought about the things scripture teaches about light and darkness.

It is in the darkness that sin is committed, ”men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” ( John 3:19)
I thought about how the sunlight revealed dirt I did not see on cloudy days….and how I almost wished the sun could not shine into my kitchen. Those who are evil wish the same thing…they do not want the light of God to reveal their sin….”For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light , neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved”.
(John 3:20)
When I had cleaned my windows and the sun revealed nothing but sparkling clean glass… how good it felt !! I called my husband to come see how nice my windows looked. Now instead of wanting to hide them, I delighted in them being seen!!
So also a pure heart desires the light!! “but he that doeth truth cometh to the light ,that his deeds may be made manifest.. that they are wrought in God.” (John 3: 21)

I thought about God being so bright a light that “in Him is no darkness at all.” ( I John 1:5) No sin, not even a particle of sin dust can be hidden in the presence of God’s holy light.
Dare I , dare you , place ourselves before God’s light to reveal the need for ‘spring cleaning’ in our hearts?
Jesus says in Luke 12:2,3 that “there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known. therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light …” Should that not motivate us to make sure our ‘spring cleaning’ is done before ‘inspection time’?

Just as the Jews searched by candlelight to find any hidden crumbs of leaven…( leaven in the bible is symbolic of sin) so “the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” ( Prov. 20:27)
I wondered if I looked at my heart under the bright light of the ‘Son’ of God would I see sin, short comings, compromise , self-centered attitudes, sins of omission, neglect where I know to do good, and willful disobedience ? Would my self-defined righteousness suddenly look embarrassingly unrighteous?

What would the searching light of God reveal in your heart ? Do you need spring cleaning ?
Will you pray with me the prayer of David?
“Search me , O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”.
( Psalms 139:22,23)

1 comment:

Lovella said...

Create in me a clean heart O Lord my God.

It is scary to pray that prayer becuase I know that there are nooks and cranies that need to be revealed and cleaned.

PS . . .I was cleaning blinds yesterday, must be the season.