I was doing some housekeeping this morning and was reminded of a parable I once heard. It will be easier for me to tell the story as if I’m the girl in it so please indulge me. This story is about the Holy Spirit. For many Christians the Holy Spirit is still a mystery to them. Jesus talked about it here:
But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
Although many Christians may believe in the Holy Spirit, they don’t often realize Him as a part of their lives because they don’t know how to fellowship with Him. Many of us who really want Him to be a regularly active part of our lives keep striving for this perfect relationship that will allow us to be more like Jesus when he was here on earth, yet how to maintain the connection continues to elude us. Don’t believe it’s possible? Then why would Jesus even bother to remind us of everything he had told us? I don’t really want to delve deep into the everything right now, but just as a reminder, part of that everything was talked about in Matthew 10.
Matthew 10: 1
And Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity.
All means all, and it’s a word that does not exclude. And, last I checked we too are his disciples, and his instructions for us are the same as they were for the twelve. But why aren’t we doing what they were doing? Well, here’s the story I was telling you about earlier. It came to my remembrance because of the brutal heat we’ve been experiencing in my area. Yesterday was about 106 degrees but it’s only supposed to top out at 99 today. I’m grateful. Although I want to just sit in a climate controlled environment all day and do nothing, even if I could, these comfy places have to be cleaned from time to time.
Back when I still lived in Oakland, in a house with no air conditioning, I was laying my lazy teen self on the couch complaining about the heat. My mom told me that if I got up to mop the floor the air would cool down. I looked out the corner of my eye being careful not to move my head with the serious side eye I was giving her. I wasn’t dumb. I knew that my mom was just trying to trick me into doing chores and I also knew not to let her catch me eyeballing her. “Really mom, I wasn’t born yesterday.” I still had a smart mouth, I liked living on the edge. “No really.” She said. “If you clean the floor it will be easier for the cool air to blow through.”
No matter if I believed her or not, I knew that I was going to end up mopping the floor because that is what she wanted done. I had no choice but to yield, but I did it with a smart remark. “I know you just want me to mop the floor, so I’ll see if what you’re saying is true anyway.” So, mop I did.
Now mopping is not a difficult job, and as many of you should know, just as you start nearing the end of your work area the beginning should be starting to dry. It was just at that moment that a stiff, clear breeze came through the windows. Instead of being stifled by the grit and grime on the floors, since I had swept them away and cleaned the floors with a mixture of disinfecting hot water and vinegar the grime was gone. The wind could sweep through the house easily and the breezes could cool us as they dwelled.
Now, imagine that the grit and grime on the dirty floors is the sin in our lives that we haven’t prayed and asked God to forgive. Imagine prayer is the vinegar water mixture I used to clean with. Imagine the obstacles that we remove before mopping like the furniture and fixtures, that are totally useful when we need them, but not very useful when mopping, are our responsibilities. They are important, but must be set aside when it’s time to connect to The Father with prayer. Imagine those movable fixtures, like the garbage can, are holding garbage in our lives, and like real garbage, need to be removed from our homes/lives daily or it starts to stink. And, just like the real garbage can contains a variety of stinky selections, so do our spirits. They can be named, doubt, disbelief, jealousy, condemnation, fear, etc., etc. etc. Now imagine that wind that came easily into the newly cleaned space is the Holy Spirit. Finally, imagine how beneficial it would be to do some housekeeping in our bodies, minds, spirits, environments, our temples. Even though the Holy Spirit is still with us simply based on the fact that Jesus said He would be, the cleaner we stay, the more we can feel Him, and the longer that feeling will dwell. Amen?