Spring is just around the corner! At least that is what they keep saying in between winter storms. Lying rodents. But I digress….
With spring comes spring cleaning. We move appliances and furniture to clean everything to welcome spring. We wash baseboards and clean out closets. We scrub walls and organize cabinets. We deep clean with intention! Starting the spring cleaning process motivates us to do more.
So a deep house cleaning is great, but how often do we do a deep cleaning on our minds? Do we throw out the clutter we harbor in our minds, or do we just sweep around all of that garbage? Do we turn our thoughts over and examine them, one by one, pruning as we go? Like a semi-helpful game: “Productive. Productive not. Productive. Productive not.” Or do we just shove those toxic thoughts deep into a closet and quickly shut the door?
Anyone realizing they don’t deep clean their thinker often enough? *Raises hand slowly.* Same. You’re not alone. Every time I think I have successfully purged all toxic thoughts, I realize there is another layer of crap. Not the same crap. Different crap. Deeper crap.
When we start dealing with the surface issues, we start to feel better and we move forward. For a while, anyway. Until different issues begin to work their way forward. Next, please!
As we work through each layer, we have an important choice: we can view refining the many layers of ourselves as a chore, or we can count each layer as a blessing.
When we see growth as a chore, we often become angry, hopeless, exhausted, frustrated, or some combination of all of these emotions. We become focused on fixing ourselves. By ourselves. Alone. All on us. That’s an exhausting position to hold. No wonder we give up!
On the other hand, when we view growth as a blessing, we can become energized, relieved, excited, happy, and so on. Probably still a combination of emotions, but what a better set of feels, right? The kicker here is that seeing blessings shifts our perspectives to God. We aren’t on this journey alone. He is right there with us, helping us move furniture, tackle cobwebs, and scrub the walls of our minds. He shows us where deep cleaning is needed and helps us with the heavy lifting. Sure, He may point out when we miss a spot, but it’s done from a place of love and grace.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2 NIV
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
John 15:2 NIV
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James 1:2, 5 NIV