We are having out-of-town guests this week. You know what that means, right? Besides the anticipation of spending time with a friend — it means cleaning! Sprucing up the house, washing the sheets, clearing the dust bunnies!
Now, me, I love the excuse of company to force me to do the cleaning that I need to do. And, at least for me, there is a satisfaction to getting it done. I love that clean smell and the polished look of everything.
Of course… I don’t love watching it get “dirty” in less time than it took for me to clean it! But that’s a different thought.
After cleaning today, I went into work and did some planning for the season of Lent here at the church.
Now, for those of you who might be unfamiliar, Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter (not including Sundays!) when the Church prepares itself for the Easter festival. It is typically a season of slimming down and paring back the trappings of life so that there is room once again for God to be God in our lives. The word “Lent” has its origins in a word meaning “spring season,” which may be why I always think of spring cleaning my spirit in the season of Lent.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?Jesus, Luke 14:28
This concept of “spring cleaning” may be part of why some Christians give something up for Lent. Some give up meat, some chocolate, some social media. To put those things away for awhile may show us how unnecessary they are. Some Christians take up a new habit instead; maybe daily bible reading or meeting with a trusted spiritual partner to talk about faith and life. In either case, Lent is this time to take away what isn’t important, take on that which is, and make a bit more room for God to be at the center of our life.
I know… it seems pretty early to be talking about Lent and Lenten Disciples! It is still four weeks away!
Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes with a really big spring cleanup I need a few weeks to carve out the time, to get my supplies, and to organize myself. Otherwise, when I go to dive into my cleaning project I might find I am out of toilet bowl cleaner and have to rush to the store. And upon return and more cleaning, I find I need light bulbs, and so… back to the store!
I think every Lent, no matter how many times I have been through spring cleaning my spiritual house, is a big project. If I wait until Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent), well, I could have a lot of starts and stops before I get going. I want to be ready, count the costs, and take off running.