Thursday, April 28, 2011

clean carpets, clean heart

You may find this strange, but I love to vacuum.  I just feel like the house is so much cleaner once the vacuum has been run.  Perhaps that's because it requires the kids to pick up all their stuffed that is scattered from one end of the house to the other.  Or perhaps it's because it removes all the visible dirt and debris that two children and a dog create.  Either way...I love to vacuum.  Today I vacuumed on a deeper level...I used a steam cleaner to try and rid my dining room of the dog stench that greets me every morning.  The first time I cleaned the offending area, I did not notice that the switch was set to Rinse, instead of Wash/Rinse.  Imagine my surprise when I realized the soap resevoir was still full after several minutes of scrubbing, and the carpet did not look any cleaner.  But the water was still brown!  So even just the plain hot water removed more grime than my surface vacuum alone.  Then, after switching to the correct mode, I did that section again and then moved on to the living room.  Even though the living room does not generally serve as Swiper's "territory," I figured that while I have the cleaner I might as well do it all. 
So as I vacuumed and watched the tank fill up with nasty black water, I thought about how I am like my carpet.  You see, after vacuuming with my plain vacuum, my carpet looks clean: no crumbs, no dirt clods, no hunks of dog hair.  But it's not until I start looking deeper that I see what's really inside.  And it's not pretty.  I think you know where I'm going with this, right?  I can clean myself up on the outside quite nicely: no cursing, no questionable entertainment on my TV, no gossiping.  I go to church multiple times a week; I sing in the choir; I coach Bible Quiz; and the list goes on... Looks great on the surface.  But when I take an honest look on the inside, it's not so pretty.  You might even look at my life and think I've got it all together all of the time.  Because that's what I want you to think.  "But the Lord looks at the heart."  He sees my dirt, my debris, my hunks of dog hair, if you will.  And he is making it abundantly clear to me that it's time for some deep cleaning, time for some serious change.  But the good news is that I'm not on my own in my quest for cleanliness.  It's the Holy Spirit who does the scrubbing, the steaming, and the vacuuming in my heart and in my life.  I'm just a willing carpet.
What about you?  Are you only vacuumed, or are you steam cleaned by the Holy Spirit?