Cleaning and God. You’re probably wondering what those two things have in common, aren’t you?
Well to be honest so was I. At least at first. But it all clicked a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Or maybe that was Star Wars? I think in my case it all started with a problem and a simple conversation with God. That’s much, much closer and not that long ago. Last week really. But I digress.
When I have a problem I like to talk it over with God. I’ll talk to God about pretty much everything in my life. I don’t care if it’s a big thing, like what to do about my job search, or something really important, like where to go for dinner. I like to hear what God might have to say.
This case was no different. I was struggling with a creative / technical issue involving a new project I’ve started. And I wasn’t having any luck coming to a solution Especially working at my desk. So I did what any good ADD-prone person does; I started to clean.
I figured while I was cleaning I could ask God what he thought about my problem. I bounced a few ideas off of him. And then waited. Nothing.
“Just great” I thought. “Not only is my apartment a disaster, but now I’m not getting any feedback from the Big Guy.”
I stood there looking at my apartment, quickly losing the desire to even try to clean the mess. When I heard God say something. Now it wasn’t audible or anything. I didn’t see a burning bush (or a burning can of Pledge). But the part of me that’s “wakes up” when God is speaking could hear something.
“Don’t stop cleaning” God whispered.
“What?” I thought. “Why does God care if I’m cleaning?!”
To which I heard, “just be obedient.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s not really my favorite phrase. But I started cleaning again. The whole time I kept mulling over my problem with God. I kept asking him questions, and kept getting silence. In all honesty there was part of me getting frustrated.
What I didn’t realize was that I had lost track of time. So when I took a step back and looked up I was shocked to see that what once seemed like an insurmountable problem (seriously, you should have seen the mess) and uncertainty (where am I going to put it all) was replaced with a voice that said, “sometimes all you need to do is be obedient and the problems work themselves out.”
I never would have guessed that God would have used cleaning to teach me more about him. And while my original problem didn’t get solved, I am encouraged. Because I know that as long as I keep working, as long as I focus on obedience instead of the “what if’s?” I’ll be okay.
It’s easy to get entangled in the “what if’s?” We all do it. It’s the spiritual equivalent of quicksand: the more we struggle against them, the faster we sink. Sometimes the best thing we can do is relax, be obedient, and wait for someone to throw us a branch.
Who would have thought all of that would have come from just being obedient?