When I was growing up, my mother always insisted that my room should be kept clean. Initially, cleaning my room served as a punishment, but eventually I learned to appreciate the benefits of a clean room. I came to realize that if I was sharing my room with a foul odor, moldy food, and ants, then there was a problem—my room had to be cleaned.
When it comes to cleaning your room one must always be wary of two extremes. On the one hand, you can wait until your room becomes unbearably messy; on the other hand, you can be so obsessive about cleanliness that it becomes impossible to live a proper human life. Avoiding these two extremes, we shoot for the golden mean: First, a room should be orderly, with things put away in their proper locations. Second, the room should have its proper perfection, with all of the essential furniture. And third, a clean room should manifest a certain everyday beauty.
Shooting for the ideal of the clean room can serve as a helpful analogy in our efforts to have a clean soul, but there is one very important difference: While we may be able, with the proper supplies, to clean our own rooms, we cannot clean our own souls. For this we are entirely dependent upon God. But, no matter how messy the wrongs we have committed, or how worried we are about the state of our souls, God has the power to wash us clean. God desires to put our lives in order and to make our souls perfect, radiant with the beauty of His saints.
We must not be afraid to show God our souls. In return, He will show us the purifying power of his mercy. With confidence then, let us pray with the Psalmist: A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.
Photo by Nathan Fertig