Lessons from my Mop and Pail

mop and pail

I am sitting in my dining room enjoying the smell of a freshly cleaned floor. Lemony freshness. After weeks of needing a good scrub down I finally made time for it today and got it done. I am so glad I did. It wasn’t easy, though. I started around 9 AM in the kitchen and dining room. I moved everything out of there then swept, used the swiffer duster, then got on my hands and knees (reminds me of college!) and started scrubbing the floor with my hot, soapy rag. Kids came in and out to help. They’d stay for a little while then they’d get bored and go play again.

By 10:15 I was done the kitchen and dining room so we took a break and went to the park, came back for lunch then the kids were off to bed for their naps. I got right to it and repeated the same process in the living room. All the furniture was pulled out. I swept, swiffered, then mopped. As I mopped I noticed marks on the walls so I’d give them a quick wipe and continue on with the floor. Finally, at 2 PM I am done. That was hard work and it took all day. I used to do this every week. When I did it that way it only took an hour or so to do all the rooms. As I was doing this I started to think how this day can be applied to my life spiritually.

Our hearts, like my floor, need a good scrub down every now and then. “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” (Psalm 51:10)  This takes work. There is no quick fix. I am not speaking of our salvation, that is a gift from God and only requires us to accept the gift. I am speaking to the Christian who is not right with God. The Christian who has things in his/her life that do not honor the Lord. It takes time to clean up that heart. Don’t lose hope just because you aren’t seeing results as quickly as you’d like to see them.

There may be others who seem on fire for the Lord, like my little ones who were so excited to come in and help me mop. But they quickly lost interest and went on to do something more interesting. We can’t let those around us affect how we serve the Lord. Man will always fail us. We need to continue on even if no one wants to join us.

Sometimes while we are focusing on the area in our lives that the Lord wants us to change He will allow us to see another “spot on the wall” that needs some fixing. Work on it and continue on. Don’t get sidetracked from the ultimate goal of having a clean heart before God.

This needs to be done often. As sinners, we cannot expect our hearts to stay clean without continually going before the Lord and asking Him to search our hearts. My floor is so much easier to clean when I do it on a regular basis. When I go weeks without mopping it takes so much more work to get it clean again. Don’t let your heart go weeks without being cleaned and don’t ignore the Spirit when He is trying to tell you that your heart needs cleaned.

Finally, how do I go about cleaning up my heart? Psalm 139:23-24 says 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.”

Ask God to show you where your heart needs some cleaning then make an effort to clean it up.  Maybe it means getting rid of some music that doesn’t honor God. Maybe it means getting rid of some movies. Maybe it means getting rid of some friends. Maybe it means stepping back from some hobbies to make sure God is first place in your life. God will show you what needs cleaned up in your life. Remember, you can’t do this on your own. You need to ask the Lord to help you in this.

P.S. This can also be applied to our lives physically. If you have set out to get fit or eat right remember it takes time, you can’t rely on others to do it for you, don’t get stuck on one area, and to evaluate your workouts/meal plan often. And as always, ask God to help you do it!

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