Beautiful, real, hardwood floors drew me to this house. Slab by slab of wood ran across our open concept living room, kitchen and dining room producing a steady flow of beauty. And beauty it was.
I soon noticed, however, that our charming wood floors didn’t hide dirt as well as our tile at our old house. One little crumb from a cracker stood out like a sore thumb. Of course with 3 young kids and a busy schedule sweeping after every meal and snack wasn’t something I was going to do. I let our dog do a lot of the cleaning more days than not. Eventually those few cracker crumbs turned into more and more crumbs, droplets of milk sprinkled the floor that had dropped out of sippy cups and grass and dirt were brought in from the kids and dog.
I would sweep the mess into small piles and toss it into the trash can. I’d plug in my steam mop, let it get hot and go back and forth over those hardwood floors until I got rid of any trace of mess. And it was clean. Beautifully clean. For give or take 20 minutes. Until a snack was had, or milk was drank or the dog was let back inside.
Isn’t that like us? We were made in God’s image, beautifully clean and dazzling and innocent. We were unblemished and sparkling. And then sin entered the world. Pretty quickly things got dirty. We were contaminated and messy. Stained and dusty. Sinful.
I know my life is a lot like my hardwood floors. As much as I try not to…. I sin. I drop those crumbs and I bring in that dirt. I sin in anger and drops of milk are spilt on my floor. I gossip and grass is brought in from outside. I am selfish and a whole plate of spaghetti falls to the ground. Messy. Grimy. Filthy.
But you know what the beautiful thing is?
I don’t have to stay that way.
Just like I can get out my sweeper and my steam mop and clean up the filth, God can clean up the filth in my life.
It takes energy. It takes effort. It takes developing and spreading and growing in my faith. But with the right heart, all I have to do is ask for forgiveness and it’s done. I am clean. I am sparkling. I am washed. God cleans me up.
And with more growing and stretching my floors can be dirty less often. Just as children grow up and learn to not leave as many crumbs or not spill so many drinks…….. I can grow up in my faith and not sin as often.
There will never be a day where the floors are never dirty. Ever. Because messes will always be made and I will always be human. But the more I recognize my sinfulness and the more quickly I ask God for forgiveness, the quicker those messes will be cleaned up. Sin will always be a part of me just like dirt and crumbs will always be a part of my hardwood floors.
But thank God for Jesus and mops.