February 28, 2008

Soul Cleaning

Shortly after we got our puppy, wouldn’t you know, the vacuum broke. Now, I can live without my oven, the toaster, and even a DVD player for a while, but a vacuum? No way. Ranked high with the coffee pot, microwave, curling iron, and cell phone, my upright is one modern convenience I have no desire to live without.

Our old machine was a good one, until the day it died. Then, suddenly, in the middle of the living room it began to smell like burning rubber and blew the housebreaker. I called Jimmy to the scene where he promptly pronounced it dead. Within three hours we had completed our research on the best vacuums to buy, picked out a model, gotten dressed, and was heading to Sears.

We decided to go bag-less, so we chose a vacuum that uses cyclone power. After a little assembly Jimmy was soon testing it on the same turf that had taken the old one’s life. To our utter amazement, this high-powered machine not only worked, it worked extremely well. On its maiden voyage it collected an entire canister full of dirt and fur!

My reaction to the efficiency of this contraption has been a surprise. On one hand I’m thrilled to know our home is cleaner than ever, but on the other I’m embarrassed at how much this thing collects. Instead of our “private dirt” being sucked into a bag, sight unseen, I must face the reality of what inhabits my home. I’m happy with how good it works, but the truth hurts. I really am a neat and tidy person, but to look at my vacuum you'd never know.

My mindset has changed since we bought this humbling appliance too. As I watch the debris collect in the clear container, I am reminded of my sin and the importance of daily confession. Without daily cleansing, we too become like a filthy carpet, dingy and soiled from lack of care. With this in mind, I pray a lot while vacuuming. “Lord cleanse me of my sin. More importantly, help me see my sin so I can confess it and weed it out of my life. Make me fresh and new in the power of your Spirit and use me to do a good work.”

Perhaps you don’t like to vacuum the carpet. It’s one of those things few of us find invigorating. If this describes you, I encourage you to use the time to pray. As you clean your carpet, cleanse and refresh your soul as well. Then empty the canister and start anew with God. You’ll be amazed at what a good soul cleaning will do!

Visit Nancy's Website: Olive Leaf Ministries

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