My mother is a meticulous housekeeper. Always has been. Always will be. When my sister and I were growing up, Saturdays were ALWAYS housecleaning days. The amount of free time we had was directly correlated to the speed and efficiency with which we cleaned house.
It was maddening, mostly because we were cleaning a house that to us, never got dirty. My mother was never one to leave dirty dishes in the sink, or dirty clothes in the hamper. The garbage cans were emptied regularly and the refrigerator was scheduled for regular purging. Everything was in its place, almost all the time.
What my mother knew, and I have learned - of course, the hard way - is that when little chores are done all along during the week, the task of cleaning house is not such an overwhelming one. If things are not allowed to pile up, get out of control and take on a life of their own it doesn't take a sandblaster and a rented construction-sized dumpster to get it back in order again.
It's a discipline. If you use something and finish with it, put it back where it belongs. If you use the last of something, throw away the box, jar or bottle and write it down on the shopping list. If it's clean hang it up or fold it neatly and place it in a drawer. If it's dirty, put it in the hamper.
I was thinking this morning that our relationship with God is like that. Because it is a relationship it needs regular tending. Daily attention. When little things creep in, we need to deal with them immediately. Don't wait for Sunday or for your next scheduled quiet time. Do it right then. When you sin, as soon as you are convicted (become aware) of it, confess it, repent, ask for forgiveness and God's help to turn from that and make amends where necessary, and move on.
Our relationship with God is a vibrant, alive, flowing thing that is always in process. The Holy Spirit is always at work in us teaching us, convicting us, leading us. We need to learn to respond as he leads.
Think of the amazing lives we would lead if we were so in tune to the Holy Spirit that the moment he led we followed and obeyed. That kind of thing doesn't just happen because we read a verse or two every once in a while, and maybe pray at church. To much stuff can build up between times, getting in the way of our hearing the Spirit speak to us. Once that happens it's hard to hear anything.
This spiritual discipline of moment to moment interaction with God is like my mother insisting on cleaning house every Saturday. It's the regular attention to things that keeps the home - or heart - clean and beautiful and a lovely dwelling place for those who reside there - my family or my Lord.
I'm still not the housekeeper that my mother is, but I'm learning. I'm also learning to listen to the Holy Spirit more closely than ever - and more often. I'm learning to pray without ceasing and pray that it continues to become my first response rather than a last resort.
Find a way to remind yourself to tend to the little things right away, at home and in your heart. You can and should pray anywhere and everywhere. Ask God to help you to be sensitive to his presence and leading. That is a prayer he will most definitely honor.
For a Christian, every day - every moment - should be cleaning day. Stay prayed up, confessed up, and praised up. Enjoy your time with Him and let it transform you into the person he wants you to be.
Don't forget to stop by
tomorrow for an interview
with fiction author
Jody Hedlund, and a
chance to win a copy
of her new book,
THE DOCTOR'S LADY.