There was no such thing as Spring cleaning growing up in my house. That’s because my parents, especially my mother, believed in cleaning every season. There’s a total of four siblings – two girls, two boys. I’m the oldest girl. The house rules were, my sister and I were responsible for house labor – roll up our sleeves, get on our hands and knees, meticulous cleaning. We cleaned floors and bathrooms; we dusted; we washed clothes. On the contrary, my brothers did very little housework. They took out the trash, did yard work with my father, and to me and my sister’s delight, on occasion, they had to help with kitchen duty.
One evening, my sister and I made a deal with my brothers before dinner. They would clean the kitchen so that we could get a break. My sister and I were so pleased with the agreement we made. And to our surprise that night, it seemed as though my mother was in on the arrangement. We were convinced she used every pot in the house to cook dinner. My sister and I enjoyed quite a laugh, boasting it was our brothers’ night to ‘bust them suds.’ After dinner, instead of our regular kitchen duty, my sister and I went upstairs to our bedroom to enjoy our night off, listening to music and doing homework. But to our surprise, our brothers were back upstairs from cleaning the kitchen much quicker than we estimated. How was that possible?
In the middle of the night, we all got a visitor in our bedrooms. My mother came to our bedroom first, turned on the light, and said calmly, “Get up and get downstairs.” She left me and my sister’s room and went to my brothers’ rooms and repeated the same. We all fumbled down the stairs to follow mama to the kitchen. When we gathered in the kitchen, she walked over to the stove and opened the oven door. To me and my sister’s shock, my brothers did not wash one pot from dinner. Instead, they put the dirty pots in the oven to escape the work, counting on us to clean them the following night. We quickly got our previous question answered about their speedy cleaning. Clearly, my brothers didn’t think everything through. They forgot about mama’s late-night walks through the house after everyone was asleep. While we were sleeping, she discovered our brothers’ deception. All four of us suffered behind our brothers’ clever trick that night. Mama ordered us all to clean the whole kitchen, from the dirty pots to the countertops, to the floor. And she enjoyed a giggle on her way upstairs to bed.
God has a way of getting our attention, of touching our hearts, to get the best out of us. He will rouse us out of our sleepy conditions, and point us to our hidden spaces, awakening us to desire something more excellent. He wants us to have a clean heart that renews us deep inside and compels us to follow Him. Stop trying to avoid dealing with the messy issues of your heart. The sooner you take the necessary time to address the mess, the sooner God can clean you up and give you peace for what lies ahead. Wake up sleepy head and handle your business. God wants us to have a clean heart!