Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Invitation

"LENT IS A SPIRITUAL “spring cleaning”: we enter the inner places where we are stuck or muddled, and we clear away the clutter so that God moves a little more freely through us. …

When we look at ourselves deeply and honestly, we all meet our own demons. In this work, we first find ourselves alone and exposed to the inner elements: our vices, our confusion, feelings we’d prefer to mute. And this is the way it must be; to explore and heal ourselves, we must meet ourselves head on, alone, in what may feel like a very wild place.

Open your heart and mind to your entire self — both good and bad — and quietly name what you find there. And remember that you are not alone in this work. God goes with you, moving gently and compassionately through your inner world, guiding and nurturing your Lenten journey."

- Alive Now, March/April 2012

How slowly I move toward cleaning anything unless I am really angry about something. When I am disturbed I disturb all the dust bunnies and piles of books (I am a compulsive book stacker) and homogenized kitchen drawers. The problem is that the older I get the less frequently anything really truly deeply upsets me. (No teenagers) So, the house stays untidy until guests come then it is a frantic ordeal.  (Except for John's areas. He is a compulsive neat-nick) Motivation is a lot of the problem. Motivation and time.

Motivation is also a problem in our spiritual life. We look at the sometimes gargantuan task of house cleaning and demur. We forget God has a plan and resources. The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10. That means all the lostness in our lives.

How about the musty old corners of our lives? What about the clutter built up around our gifts? How about the surface of our dining room table? What about all the lost opportunities because gack is in the way spiritually and practically? Does that qualify for saving under God's plan? You bet your dust bunnies!

The scripture tells us that God is bringing everything that concerns us to perfection. Everything is, well, everything. Spiritual clutter, physical clutter, He is not put off by it but He is looking forward to the day we throw a party because we swept the house clean and found lost treasure.

I don't know what personal inventory you need to make. I can only answer for myself. I don't know what self-help books you would find helpful. I tend to read half, starting at the end, then use them to press flowers and prop open windows. I do know we can feed shame about our procrastination to the dust bunnies and simply ask Jesus to step into the areas in need of attention. He has been seeking the victory in those areas on your behalf all along. He will bless even small steps in the right direction.

While I was sitting for my grandson, who is almost four, I asked God to show me how to explain Him to John Sebastian. We ended up digging for treasure on the beach and finding lost change and a matchbox car. He was beside himself with excitement. He couldn't wait to show his folks and to return for a second round of digging. We cleaned off the sand and mud and put his loot in a special treasure box. I found myself telling Him how Jesus came to look for us because we were His treasure and that He had joy at finding us and dusting us off and making us fixed. He is only a child but I saw the light go on.

Whatever needs a clean up in our lives we may find a book written about overcoming it (I am not disparaging that) or we may sit in the quiet with our Treasure-Hunter-God and hand Him a broom and mean it. He was made for the wild places. You can't scare Him. It might not feel like a day at the beach but the end result will be treasure.

Lent is the perfect place to begin...or begin again.



  1. Oh, man, my dust bunnies are in an uproar lately. They are being found out in the farthest hidey-hole corners and I can't say it's the most fun I've ever had. But I have hope in the process because of Jesus. -K

  2. Take my word for it as a one who has a dust bunny sanctuary God is dealing with, He is going to neuter some of those bunnies and others He has ordained that we wear their pelts!