Today is the first day of my spring break. I look forward to leisurely mornings, a time to write, to work on some lesson plans, to visit with family, and, yes, to do some spring cleaning (Come to think of it, this doesn’t sound like much of a break, does it?). Even though spring cleaning involves work, I do enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. It’s a wonderful feeling to see a clean, organized house and to smell the freshness of a recently cleaned room. I enjoy taking a throw rug or bath mat out in the brisk spring air, grabbing it by the edges and shaking the dust out. With a quick jerk of the arms the rug snaps and the dust flies out. After repeatedly shaking and snapping the rug, it’s cleaned of the dust, and the pile stands up, making the rug look new again.
Just as I periodically need to shake out the rugs and spring clean my house, so I need to shake out my spirit and spring clean my soul. It’s easy to allow the mind to become cluttered and the dust of disuse to settle over my spirit. If I don’t take the time to meditate on God’s word, I allow the ideas of the world to clutter my mind. If I don’t spend time with others, studying and discussing how to apply God’s word, I allow the dust of apathy to coat my soul. Without this regular cleaning, my spirit can become lazy, indifferent, or self-righteous. When I accepted Christ and agreed to follow him, all the dirt and grime of my soul was washed away. But dust, unseen, floats into my heart, covering it with the grime of sin. I cannot become complacent with my soul; I must shake it out, snap it by the corners and keep it clean.
I can just picture God, sitting on high on his throne, commanding the dawn to pick up the earth at its edges and give it a good shake, just like I might snap that rug to shake all the dust out of it. The wickedness thrives, unseen, in the darkness, just as the dust hides deep in the nap of the rug. So sins lie, unseen by others, deep within the soul. But God sees into the dark recesses of all souls. He knows what dirty places lurk within. Only God can give the command to shake my soul clean.
Oh God, just as I love a clean house, so you love a clean heart. Create that clean heart in me, Lord; spring clean my spirit. Take my soul by the edges and shake the wickedness out of it.
Job 38:12&13 “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?”