Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cleaning out can be a gentle process

Yesterday, Celena and I bought a vacuum cleaner. Not an exciting acquisition, I grant you (despite the manufacturer's claim to have created a machine that will make cleaning the floors "a joy") but, for far too long, we have had to rely on borrowing one from the in-laws, so it certainly marks the gaining of a certain independence on our part.

That vacuum cleaner will play a significant part in our life in the future. It's not a surrogate child and we don't anticipate a sense of quivering anticipation as we assemble it and plug it into the nearby wall. As for joyfulness - well, one shouldn't expect too much! But it will certainly become a useful tool in our efforts to keep our house and car clean and presentable.

In recent weeks, I have realised that I have developed a tendency to take many of my worldly possessions for granted. I don't clean the car as often as I think I should. Windows become streaked, dust accumulates on bookshelves and shoes are scuffed and rubbed through a lack of being polished regularly. It's not that I don't want to attend to such matters - I just always seem to find something more enjoyable or more rewarding to do.

That's why our purchase of a vacuum cleaner is so important. It's fine to want to ascend the heights and experience thrill of a 'mountain top' experience...but we eventually have to come down and spend some time in the valley. What I am realising is that, in our lives today, there are chores to be completed, tasks to be tended too, priorities to be pondered. Performing the mundane duties of running a house is all part and parcel of our greater mandate to build an eternal kingdom.

The actual quote escapes me for the moment but I know the Bible has a lot to say about doing the small things in life with passion and conviction. It's where the story of the servants and the talents comes in. But while we typically think of this as relating to our personal gifts, I actually now appreciate it for the message it offers me as the owner of one property and the tenant of another.

And if a vacuum cleaner is going to the start of my conversion on the road to cleanliness and self-discipline, then I - and Celena - will give thanks to God...and turn it on!

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