There is a type of house cleaning I would rather avoid, and then there is the kind I actually relish. The first strikes me as a mundane chore; the second, an anticipated delight.
My mother often voiced how much she hated doing housework because it would never last. She would say, "As soon as I get it all cleaned, someone has to come along and mess it up. It never ends!" I was highly influenced by her remarks, especially when they supported my childish whim towards laziness.
Later in life, I had the privilege to learn that when you've cleaned something, it has the benefit of blessing the very next person who comes along to use it. It's an admirable attitude of service that makes the task worth doing. I've also seen how keeping my house clean keeps my health stronger. Dust-free breathing seems to become more critical the older I get. Imagine that.
In spite of these rich reasons for enjoying the work, along with my deep-rooted conviction to work "heartily as to the Lord," my childhood paradigm tends to win over when it comes to housework, and it all becomes a mundane chore.
But, there is a kind of house cleaning that I am eager to take on each week, or at least monthly. I know others who prefer entering its doors only once a year, but it would become way too daunting for me to follow their steps. This house is my own soul, and the doors open wide to each of the rooms that makes me... me. Those tiny rooms that mysteriously weave together, become the very fabric of my being.
Around 500 BC, a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, concluded that change is central to the universe. Today we hold that change is the only constant in life, that nothing and no one is ever static. This would mean that at any given point in time, I am either growing or dying. There is no space between the two. Each of us can choose which way we want to go. Personally, I think a growing plant is
far more enjoyable than a dying one.
We spend January 1 walking through
our lives, room by room, drawing up a
list of work to be done, cracks to be
patched. Maybe this year, to balance
the list, we ought to walk through the
rooms of our lives... not looking for
flaws, but for potential.
This is the style of house cleaning that, for me, is an anticipated delight. This is where I can imagine and redesign that fabric because I am the architect of my soul. And, who knows? Perhaps, within the process, I will even discover the room wherein lies the change needed to turn a mundane chore into the exciting.