It’s moving day at the office. I’m still sitting at my old desk in my old office typing this devotional, but I’m looking out towards where my couch used to be. Javier and Louis just took it out and moved it to my new office across the way. You know what I notice? Dirt. It’s amazing what type of dirt resides beneath our furniture. This doesn’t surprise me. It’s a scene I’ve witnessed many times before. In college, I can remember at the end of the semester being forced to move all the furniture out of the dorm room and discovering dust bunnies the size of well, bunnies.
Every time I find myself moving furniture and being confronted with dirt and dust and crumbs that are in danger of taking on a life of their own I think to myself – how do I live this way? It’s so gross. Well, I live this way, not because I never clean (OK – Alyson will say I never clean, she does. But since we are one flesh, we are collectively clean people). No, I live this way because it’s easy not to notice the dirt that piles up under furniture that never moves. It takes change to expose the areas in desperate need of cleaning.
Life can be much the same way. Most of us do a good job of cleaning up the areas of our lives that are exposed to view. At least we discover ways to make those areas seem clean. But what about the places in our lives that reside in the unnoticed corners of our hearts? Heartaches that have been pushed under the furniture so that they’re out of sight; unresolved anger that’s been slid behind the dresser; sin that’s been swept under the rug. It’s amazing how long we’ll put up with such things. We think we’ve created clean lives until something happens that shuffles the furniture of our heart around. Maybe an illness or a job loss or the surprise of our own mortality shakes things up and we notice for the first time in a long time there are places in our lives that still need cleaning. When that happens we have a couple of choices – quickly push the furniture back in place or seize the moment as an opportunity for a deeper cleaning from God’s hand. One choice protects our comfort and our self-esteem. Once choice saves our soul.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24