What with illness and then surgery, my spring cleaning started a month later than usual this year. But as usual, Inge, my maid whom I do not have, was nowhere to be found when I started the overhaul. It is so much easier to move a bed with two people. But no, she was out, probably smelling the roses that aren’t even budding yet.
Seeing no hope that she would do it for me, I started in on a bedroom, dusting picture frames and lamp shades and fan blades. Why do we call it dusting? Shouldn’t it be un-dusting? Anyway, I was looking up to find any spider webs, cleaning the mirror, vacuuming along the baseboards and window sills, etc. You know the drill. I confess, this year I did not move everything out of the closet to clean behind the shoes and boxes. And window wells and glass can wait until warmer weather, thank you very much.
I moved the bed to catch those cute little dust bunnies. Maybe not really cute–they are made of dirt. Then again, I’m made of dirt too, so who am I to judge?
Swooping up dust bunnies is when it occurred to me. Just as I do a deep clean once a year, mightn’t it be good to do a deep clean of my heart? A deep clean is a good thing, right? It sounds spiritual.
Then Scripture came to the rescue. When it comes to the human heart, there is a better option than waiting for a spring cleaning. Proverbs 28:13 says that,
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
Rather than save up for a deep cleaning, I need to remove dirt and filth as soon as possible. Keep short accounts with God. Confess and forsake. Clean daily. If we clean daily, there are fewer transgressions to confess at any one time. If we don’t clean daily, we get habituated to hiding them. Sins can pile up and make the task of repentance an intimidating ordeal, tempting us to never make the effort at all. By “daily,” I don’t mean just at a set time each day. Confess immediately, as soon as you realize the sin, like you would wipe the spattered ketchup off of your shirt as soon as possible. Don’t hold crud between you and the Lord for even a moment. Don’t procrastinate.
While cleaning, clean well. Don’t risk that there might be dirt left behind the shoes in the closet. Don’t smile indulgently at the little dust bunnies and leave them to tease self back to sin. Forsake along with confessing.
Daily confess-and-forsake is an activity in which is it just as well that Inge is out smelling the non-roses. She can’t help me. No one can. My sins are my own. I am responsible. I can’t point a finger at any one else. Before those Holy Eyes which see into the dark corners of my heart’s closets, it is I and not another who must open those doors and let the Light in. It is I who must bow and offer Him the quality of obedience in repentance that is worthy of Him.
When I do it daily, I learn that confess-and-forsake is not an ordeal. It is not drudgery. It is a welcome occupation because it delights my Master. Shame before the Lord evaporates and peace of mind is restored. The frequency of it provides repeated reminders of what great mercy and lovingkindness and grace He shows toward me. Fellowship with Him is unhindered. When the inner room sparkles, joy grows.