Many women observe a ritual called “spring cleaning”. After a long winter huddled indoors, we fling our windows open to the warm fresh air. We clean. We scrub. Accumulated cobwebs, dust and dirt that have escaped our weekly cleaning all winter disappear. As we work, we soak in the gleaming surfaces, breath deeply of the lovely freshness. When we’re finished our homes sparkle. They smell sweet, like clean diapers fresh from the clothesline.
Today I read Jim Taylor’s paraphrase of Psalm 51.
“Scrub me clean Lord. Rub me down gently.
By your touch, show how much you love me.
Flush away my failures. Sponge off the stains of constant compromise.____
Help me clean up my act.”
Taylor’s Psalmist, speaks of spring cleaning our souls leaving us renewed, refreshed, ready for the joy of life. With God, we can sparkle once again. We can be aglow with God’s Spirit. During this past Covid year, we’ve isolated ourselves more. Places in our hearts have become stiff, arthritic from lack of use. My friend says it’s getting harder and harder to leave the house, even to get up in the morning. How do we invite God in, to spring clean our souls?
I suggest the following.
- Each night before you sleep, take five minutes to read one of your favorite Bible passages. Let the words flow into your heart. Ask God to help you receive them. If you have little experience with the Bible, try one of these passages:
Isaiah 43: 1-4 (The Message) God says:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Saviour.”
Psalm 23 vs. 1&2 (NIV)
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.”
Matthew 6: 25-27 (NIV) Jesus says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
- Each morning as you rise from your bed and stretch try this little exercise.
- Spread your arms wide, awaiting a hug. Speak these words aloud: “Thank you God for this new day. You have given me twenty-four hours to live your love. Make me a blessing for all I meet today.
- Stretch your arms to the ceiling and pray: Help me God to trust in your wisdom. You are in charge today. I will listen carefully and love lots today.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you with hands open and say, “Thank you God for your love and the love of friends, neighbours, family and even strangers. Open my heart to give and receive love today.
Remember, beginning our day with words of love and assurance gives God the opportunity to spring clean our souls. Enjoy!