I’ve been moving all of my things from my former house for about a few months now. It’s been a long day that ended with a late night. Just as I finished putting the laundry in the dryer and turned to walk up the stairs, something caught my eye. As I stepped from one room into another I saw it and thought, “I feel bad about taking the broom.”
It’s funny how something as silly as a broom, that would cost as little as five dollars to replace, can bring such emotion.
I started thinking about that broom and the way it works. You see, a broom can be used to clean up a mess, and sweep it out of the floor and into the trash. Sometimes if we’re too lazy to bend over(don’t lie, I know you’ve done it too) we just sweep the mess under the rug to be dealt with later.
Then other times we sweep it into a pile, and get sidetracked by other, more pressing matters. Someone almost always comes along right as we’re about to get the dustpan, and steps right in the middle of our unattended pile of dirt. Then our mess gets spread all throughout the house!
Occasionally, the mess is too big for a broom, or the way to properly clean it up becomes unclear. It’s ok to let someone else in to help, if they are experienced in your kind of messes! If they get you… by all means let them help!
Let’s compare life’s problems to the art of sweeping for a bit. So if there’s a mess and you sweep it under the rug, what will eventually happen? It will, at some point, reappear! I guarantee you this will happen. All that ugly old dirt never(and I do mean never)stays hidden. One of the best lessons I’ve learned in this life is: never say or do something if you have to hide to do it! Now don’t get me wrong, there are things in my past that I’d rather not talk about, or even remember. Although I don’t always make the best choices, I am very quick to turn to God and learn from my mistakes. It’s really easy to give advice, but taking our own advice(or the advice of others) can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow! I remember a conversation I had with a friend one time. We were talking about something she had done, that she just couldn’t seem to get past. Everyone else involved in the situation had forgiven and moved on, but she couldn’t seem to forgive herself. It was one of those times where you seem to have just the right words to say at just the right moment.
I said to her, “did you ask God for forgiveness?”
Her reply was, “yes.”
I then asked, “And do you think he forgave you?”
Once again I got from her a, “yes.”
I smiled, “So the bible says if we ask God for forgiveness, and are truly sorry, he wipes our sin as far as the east is to the west. He doesn’t think of it again! As in, he forgets!!! If God lets it go, don’t you think you can stop blaming yourself?”
Psalm 103:12- “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
Isaiah 43:25- “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Learn from it, Clean it up, and move on!
Ok so we’ve decided that sweeping it under the rug just doesn’t work. We gotten our broom back out and made a nice neat pile of dirt right in the middle of the hallway.(well, as nice and neat as a pile of dirt can be) Now we had every intention of sweeping it up and out, but there were dishes to do. Then we had to make dinner, and fold laundry. Maybe we just wanted to have a glass of sweet tea for five minutes and chill. Whatever the reason, it was out of sight out of mind, with our pile of crud.
1 Corinthians 14:40- “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
Have you ever heard the saying, you can run, but you cannot hide? I think it applies nicely in this situation. You know as well as I do that as soon as you start to forget, someone is walking straight through the your dirt. They will track it all over the house, and maybe even over to the neighbors for a visit. If you’re a private person, you have to be careful just who you let see your dirt.
Before you know it the whole town will have your dirt under their fingernails. Now I know everyone has dirt that needs to be cleaned up from time to time. When your feeling filthy and hopeless, remember that God created Adam out of a pile of dirt! Surely he can turn the dirt in your life into something good.
Genesis 2:7- “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Gather your dirt, sweep it up, if you can’t get rid of it just use it to plant flowers!
If the mess is too big for a broom, there’s always the possibility of a vacuum cleaner. At times even a vacuum can’t handle the sludge that is your life. Nowadays vacuum cleaners are bag less, but I remember those dirty old vacuum bags! If you had too much in them the dust would start coming out, or the bag would explode. Everything in sight would be covered in a fine layer of silt. Then you had an even bigger dilemma! You blew up your vacuum, the job is too big for a broom, and you’re just tired of trying to figure out how to clean it up. Sometimes when you can’t seem to find a way to “fix it” the best thing to do is walk away. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and don’t make that kind of mess again.
Matthew 10:14-“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”
Shake off the dust, grab your broom(you may need it at the next place)and carry on!
The best case scenario is you sweep the mess up and out before anyone sees. We all know it’s almost never that simple. Just when you think you’ve done it, the neighbor sees you carrying out the trash and says, “what ya doin?” You stammer and stutter your way through excuses, only to walk away feeling like a fool. When will we get it through our heads that we answer to God and not our neighbors? Yes, we are called to be an example. Nowhere did I read in my bible where it says you need the approval of others to get through life!
Galatians 1:10- “ For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
It talks a lot about Jesus being perfect because we couldn’t. There’s some stuff in there about how we are supposed to love no matter what. That’s one of the main ways we can be an example of our faith. When others would get mad and be unkind, we can choose to show love. Where others would be spiteful, we can choose to let things go. If someone doesn’t share our beliefs, instead of pushing ours off on them, let’s live out our faith for a while in front of them. When we do these things instead of reacting the way others would, they WILL see the difference. Perhaps they will want to get to know our difference maker!
In conclusion, I guess I will drive an hour to return a broom that I didn’t really want to use today anyway. I really prefer to use a leaf blower to get rid of my messes(hey! they are big kind of messes), and then I write about them so y’all can hopefully learn from my mistakes.