Friday, 7 November 2014

Deep Cleaning My Kitchen and The Holy Spirit

I just spent over an hour deep cleaning my kitchen. It was fantastic. I'm sure I've said this before, but I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to cleaning. I just love the feeling of taking something dirty and cleaning it until it's sparkling clean. So satisfying! I didn't necessarily set out to tackle a huge job today, but it happened none the less.

It all started when I walked past my microwave and thought it could use a wipe on the outside. A 5 second task. I opened it up and cleaned that too. At this point Elliott was quite happy sitting in his high chair watching me (in fact, he found the sound the glass made when it was squeaky clean to be hilarious) so I opened up the fridge... Twenty minutes later I had thrown out all the gross food, washed the tupperware and wiped out the shelves. Well, now I was on a roll! I cleaned under my sink, the top of my stove, turned the oven on self clean, and swept and mopped the floor.

"Wow! Things are looking great!" I thought as I put away the broom and rag. I walked back into the kitchen to grab the dirty tea towels so I could throw them in the load I had going in the washing machine, but as I went to take the towel from the oven handle I saw the front of the oven needed a wipe, which led me to pull out the drawer under the oven and wipe that down, which led me to wipe the front of the dishwasher.... and then all the cupboard doors and handles. 

And let me tell you, this was no small feat. My kitchen cupboards have all these tiny little decorative grooves where dust collects. Ok, ok, where splashes of food and dust collects. How on earth did they get so dirty, and when was the last time I wiped them down?? I'm in the kitchen every single day, multiple times a day, yet somehow I ignore the little crevices where dirt builds up. They are somewhat hidden - no one really sees it unless they get down on their hands an knees. I suppose it has never been high on my priority list.

So, why today? I think it was because as I cleaned one thing after another, my eyes were now searching for more things to clean- I was paying more attention to all of it. I open up those kitchen cupboards dozens of times each day, but today I saw the dirt.

It got me thinking about the renovation of our hearts, and how the Holy Spirit does this work in us- this work of cleaning up our dirt. There are quite a few references in the Bible to our eyes being blind to our sin before we come to know Jesus. Thankfully the Lord is so full of mercy and He doesn't show us all our dirty places all at once. It's a lifetime process really, and it happens as we open our eyes to the dirt.

Those little crevices can go unnoticed, or even ignored for as long as we let them- even when we see them every single day. I wonder if we need to take that first step of cleaning up before we can see the really dirty things. I doubt I would have walked into my kitchen on any given day and decided to scrub the little grooves in my cupboard doors, but because I was already on a roll and had accomplished so much already, it didn't seem like such a big task anymore.

I think Jesus works the same way. We surrender the small things first, and as we see the fruit of that in our life, the big things don't seem so scary anymore. In fact, it feels so exciting to see how much has changed for the good already that our hearts have an open invitation of the Holy Spirit to come in and work on the bigger things.

All from starting with a 5 second task.

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