Monday, June 29, 2009

Moldy Oldies

I did a thorough cleaning of the refrigerator yesterday. It's amazing how something can be so revolting and so therapeutic all at the same time. It wasn't that I was especially in the "mood" to pull everything out, empty the leftovers from last Thanksgiving, and scrub out the tupperware. Actually, it was more out of necessity than anything. See, I had just bought groceries. All of the new turkey bacon and strawberries needed a home, and that required that I roll up my sleeves, don the rubber gloves, and get down to business.

Coincidentally, I had just started a new devotional that very same yesterday. For the next 40 days I will be intentional about giving up the time I would normally be doing something in particular - in this case watching tv (I am, after all, a nanny...though I've never tasted a Bon Bon) - and instead spend that time working through the Scriptures and questions in this devotional.

Well, after I had finished working through the devotions for last evening I headed out for a 30 minute drive to pick my husband up from the airport, and I decided to do something drastic - turn off the radio and pray.

First I chatted with God about how excited I was to be doing this 40 Day Journey, and I told Him that I wanted Him to challenge me and change me (yada yada yada), then I found myself asking a question. "Why don't I pray anymore?" Yes, I was asking God why I don't pray, because I've thought about that question often and I couldn't come to any conclusions. "You know, Lord. You know why I don't pray. You know my heart."

Then it hit a ton of anything that's sudden and painful.

When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
~Psalm 4:4b

I knew at that moment that I would know the answer to my own question if I had been taking the time to sit silently and to search my heart. It had been so long since I turned off the music, the tv, the people, the thoughts, the noise and silently sat and searched.

Then I thought back a few hours to my putrid refrigerator. I had to clean it out, I had to go through it and find the stuff, I had to make room for the fresh, good things. I took the time, searched through everything, dealt with the problem areas, and it paid off opening up so much space.

My heart is, shamefully, like my refrigerator. It has gone way too long without a good, thorough cleaning. As I drove to DFW at 10:30 pm, I found plenty of mold growing on things in my heart - things that I had pushed to the back instead of working through right away. Some I had even forgotten were in there because I hadn't wanted to deal with them.

But just like me (the domestic marvel that I am) and my refrigerator, God has so many good things that He wants to give us if only we'll take the time (and the silence) to do a thorough search and deal with the messes that have been growing in the far back corners of our hearts.

Spiritually speaking, it's time for me to roll up my sleeves, don some rubber gloves, and get down to business. It'll stink, but I want to have room for the strawberries.