Well, this week was intended to revolve around Moses. However, we were highlighting Moses’ growth in holiness, so this is not an incredibly long rabbit trail to discuss holiness with a more personal anecdote.
I woke early on Monday to get ready for work. I go into work at 9, however, I like to get up have time for my quiet time and breakfast, litter dumping, dog feeding, etc. This morning, as is often Monday’s modus operandi, conspired to delay me at every turn. As soon as I set my oatmeal on the stove, I headed downstairs to care for the cats. Some animal, I’m not sure who, had decided to relieve themselves right in front of the back door. Fortunately, it was the solid kind, but still not what I wanted to spend my morning inhaling and cleaning.
Having no choice, I promptly went to work scrubbing and blotting and forgot all about the bubbling oatmeal. As I headed back up the stairs, the wonderful aroma of slightly seasoned oatmeal greeted me, tinged with a slight burning note. Great. Under the lid, over the side, around the burner and glued to the bottom of the pan. Delightful. So the next 30 minutes was spent trying to scour my stove top and pan without burning my fingers.
I’m a perfectionist, more aptly described as simply compulsive, crazy and easily carried away. Suddenly, I found myself removing the burner covers, mopping the floor on my hands and knees, noticing the shelves in the fridge need a wipe down, it’s time to clean the inside of the dishwasher, drying the inside of the sink…you get the picture.
The best part? The cleaning lady, who occasionally restores my sanity by indulging the belief that she can clean better than I can, was scheduled to come on Monday. In an hour and a half, she would arrive and clean, scrub, polish and deodorize everything that needs it or not. I do believe however, that she would not appreciate it if I left the pet mess on the floor, or burned oatmeal congealed on the stove top.
That’s where the metaphor arrives and dissipates all at once. Cleaning is related to holiness. Making my home or life exceptionally and acceptably spotless. I’ve noticed it’s normal for women to feel the urge to clean their home before the help arrives, so that they do not make a bad impression on the cleaning lady. I mean who wants to be labeled as “that home.”
We do the same with God sometimes. We think that once we tidy, straighten and scrub our lives, THEN, we can justify presenting ourselves to Him, or allowing Him inside. I mean, we wouldn’t want God to think we were “that screwed up life,” right?
Here’s the difference. God asks us to come in all our mess. He wants us to let Him in at the dirtiest moment of our lives. Our wonderful God delights in cleaning, straightening and scrubbing. Honestly, our efforts at “pre-cleaning” often delay and inhibit His ability to work stunning, sparking beauty into our lives.