Word Wednesday Nugget Everybody Clean Up

Dr. Rebekah McCloud

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Tucked between the pages of one of Momma’s Bibles was a sheet from a 1982 publication. On it was a poem titled “Door of My Heart.” The words of the anonymous author spoke to me 42 years later.

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The first stanza of the poem reads as follows:
“God knocked at the door of my heart one day
And I looked for a place to hide.
My soul was cluttered and choked with debris
And things were untidy inside.”

I do not know about you all, but I have some clutter. Sometimes it is overwhelming. I have too much stuff: my stuff and my family’s stuff. I have been cleaning for several months; I still have stuff. Lately, this stuff has occupied a lot of time and takes me away from other things. If I am honest with myself, in many ways my behavior is like that of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21 who stores up things. I have decided to heed the warning of Luke 12:15, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” I do not want God to knock and find my life filled with clutter and choked with debris. When our kids were small and they had stuff everywhere, to signal it was time to tidy up, I would start to sing, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere; clean up clean up, everybody do your share!”  Is it time for the clean-up song?

The poem’s second stanza says:
“I needed some time to put matters right
Surprised He would call on me.
My soul needed cleaning from bottom to top
There were things he should not see.”

Are there things in our lives God should not see? Being a Christian does not mean that we are perfect. None is but He. However, we should be reminded of 2 Timothy 2:15 which says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Our Christian walk should be just that simple. But, we walk in the flesh, in the natural. And as humans, sometimes we allow the flesh to override the spirit. This is not a new thing. Just ask David. After he committed adultery with Bathsheba, he cried out to God for forgiveness. In Psalm 51:10 he said, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” There may come a time that because of our actions, we must ask God the same. Are there things in our lives God should not see? Is it time for the clean-up song?

The third stanza reads:
“There were tasks neglected, long overdue
Cobwebs to be brushed from the wall,
Rugs to be shaken and windows cleaned up.
I had not expected this call.”

Are we ready for God’s call? Are there things we have neglected to do? Have we been the kind of stewards God has called us to be? Have we been mindful of the Great Commission and the Ten Commandments? Have we made Jesus our choice? Whether the answers are yes or no, Matthew 24:44 reminds us, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 1 Peter 3:15 in part says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” And, Luke 12:35 tells us to “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” Are we ready for God’s call? It is time for the clean-up song?

Finally, the fourth stanza says:
“I stood up with my hand on the latch of the door
And gazed at the mess in the room.
When I opened the door, my soul blushed to see
God had left on my doorstep—a broom.”

If God left us a broom, what things would we sweep out of our lives? Gossiping, waste, lack, busyness, devices, or SIN: self-inflected nonsense…you name it. Whatever it is, let us sweep it out. We must be, got to be stewards that God can use. Joshua 3:5 tells us to “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” Is it time for the clean-up song? God, please leave us a broom.

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