Out with the old…

IMG_4269Spring cleaning is always a bit interesting around our house. I actually found THREE boxes of partially used Velveeta that were no longer remotely cheese-like. Well, as cheese-like as processed cheese can be, which last time I checked should not be green and white and rock hard.

The practice of giving something up during Lent is also a spring cleaning event, but of the spiritual kind. For some reason, denying myself something for a period of time tends to result in the uncovering of some spiritually moldy junk in my heart.

It’s never pretty, but, like rotting food,  shoving it farther back out of sight and trying to add something new and improved does not enhance the problem.

These past few weeks, I have removed something I normally enjoy each week in order to have intentional, focused times of prayer and meditation based on God’s Word.

So it isn’t too surprising that some uglies have been revealed.

One has reared up as we attended services the last couple of Sundays.

I know…how dare sin be exposed in the middle of a lovely church service….

Our church has been experiencing some overcrowding in a couple of services, so our pastors made a request one Sunday for some of us to switch to one of the less full time slots. There are some who can not make the switch, but I knew we could.

It was only our personal preference that had to be set aside. And I didn’t mind it really….although it is a stretch to get out the door on time.

But there is this T-H-I-N-G that creeps over me as I sit there in this service that isn’t my “favorite” time to attend.

I blush to tell you, but I find myself thinking how I hope the pastors or someone might notice that we are making the sacrifice.

That they “appreciate” what we are doing….that they will think well of us.

Ugh. That hurts.

It’s petty and awful and juvenile…but I like the gold star. I like the approval that I hope comes with doing the right thing. I like the plus after the A. I like the pat on the back.

And it flies in the face of everything I know about grace. About unmerited, unearned favor.

About the fact that I was redeemed, not based on what I did, but rather, on what He did.

About the fact that Jesus told a story about how a servant who has done what they were supposed to do doesn’t get his supper brought to him upon returning after a hard day’s work. No. A servant serves the Master and doing what he was supposed to do is part of the gig.

No special rewards.

We don’t “earn” anything. We are blessed to do the right thing. Blessed by the ACT of obedience. NOT blessed by some reward for obedience.

The obedience. The doing what we are supposed to do –

THAT….

IS …..

the reward.

So I drag my sorry self to the throne and confess my falling short of the mark. Again.

And again, He forgives. And again He casts away the ugly that has been revealed.

Because I certainly don’t want to run across this stinky block of cheese the next time we do a heart-cleansing!

If you have discovered some moldy leftovers of your old life during this Lenten Journey, pull them out in the open, confess them to the One who already knows about them and loves you anyway and then GET – RID – OF – THEM!!!!!!!

You are far too beautiful as the beloved of the LORD to be holding on to garbage that needs to be tossed  <3