Cleaning House

I’ve spent the last couple of days painting a friend’s bathroom. I’ve also been offering to help others clean and do various odd jobs. It sounds crazy to say this, but I actually enjoy it!

Sometimes, I work with the people I’m helping, and I love that. Quality time is my love language, so no matter what activity I’m doing with a person, I’m happy just being with them. Other times, I’m working on my own, and I’m content with that too. I’ve learned to be happy with my own company and having work to do with my hands gives me time to think and pray.

The thing I find interesting tonight is that my house is currently a wreck. I am embarrassed to admit this, but there are dirty clothes on the floor, clean clothes in the basket to be put away, and almost no surface in my kitchen that isn’t covered with stuff to be cleaned or tossed out or put away.

So, why do I find that interesting? Because while I love helping other people with cleaning or painting or whatever, I rarely enjoy doing those things in my own house. I suppose there is something to be said for helping others and making that a priority, but there is also something to be said for being a good steward of what God has given me to care for.

As I arrived home and started to clean the paint off my hands tonight, I started to think about the less visible ways I try to “help” people. How often do I try to help someone clean up an area of their life by pointing out a spot that could use some attention? I know there are times I seek out people who need to talk to someone when, in reality, I should be dealing with some things in my own life. It seems noble to always make myself available to others, but there are times when it is necessary to take a step back and look at the areas in my life that need work.

It can be uncomfortable to focus on the rubbish in our lives. We may be able to put off the work for a while, but at some point it will catch up with us. I have visitors arriving in 36 hours, and my home needs to be ready. I have been intending to get it ready for days, but have managed to convince myself I’m too busy helping (or in some cases just spending time with people) to do it today. After all, there is always tomorrow.

The problem is that I’ve reached the end of the tomorrows before others are affected by my mess. Crunch time has arrived, and I can no longer put off facing the dishes in my sink or the laundry or floors or… It can be that way in other areas of our lives too. If we put off the work, it will eventually affect not only us, but others as well.

Is there any “dirt” in your life you’ve been avoiding? It might be time for you to do some cleaning too…