6a00d8341cabb253ef01053655d8de970b1this past weekend i accomplished the following tasks:

     -cleaned my bathroom

     -cleaned the dining room

     -caught the dishes up

     -cleaned out my car

and, in the past week, i’ve knocked my email inbox from 430ish down to 284 (still a long ways to go to my goal of 90, but well on my way).  and cleaned out several storage rooms at First Friends.

while the person who randomly stumbles across my office (yet to be cleaned) might not realize it, i enjoy organization.  there’s something about sorting through things and bringing order to chaos that’s strangely satisfying.  

but why should you care about my cleaning habits (unless you’re single, female, & looking for an amicable guy)?  well, because the virtue of sorting things out applies to our souls as much as it does to our spaces.

at this point, if you read my friend Matt’s blog, you might be thinking déjà vu.  but i work with middle schoolers and therefor believe in the power of repetition.  and, for what it’s worth, i came to these thoughts independently.  

a couple weekends ago, i had the privilege to speak at ReFuel, Rivertree’s middle school spring retreat.  60ish middle schoolers for a weekend of God and ho-ho’s flung by water balloon launchers.  amidst the flying hostess snacks, we spent some time talking about the damage in our lives and how God wants to bring healing to us.  many students had a very real connection to this idea.  and this strange thing happened as well…as i spoke throughout the weekend and also listened to their leaders share, i was convicted of my own damage and need for God’s healing.  it’s so easy in the busyness of life and ministry to be so bent on fixing other people’s junk, you ignore your own.  and so, as we gathered in small groups on Saturday night to share our damage and pray for each other’s healing, i shared this with my group.  and they prayed.  and God met me there.

in fact, God did a lot of meeting with me that weekend.  as i came home i, like many students, made commitments to myself and God to put what i’d learned from our time together into action.  

needless to say, life happened when i got back.  meetings, back-logged emails, and all sorts of other, unplanned happenings.  i didn’t forget, but i struggled to continue to find the balance that i’d prayed for that weekend.

so this weekend as i cleaned i was reminded of the state of my soul.  and of the Holy Spirit’s continual cleansing presence in my life.  if i’ll just let him.

i hope i won’t let as many dishes pile up before i do them next time.  or let as much junk gather in my car.

and i pray that i keep letting Christ piece together my damage and clean up my mess…one little piece at a time.


2 Responses to clean.

  1. mattwiggins says:

    Good stuff, JD. I couldn’t help but think about images of post Katrina NO and wonder if that’s what God is seeing in the landscape of our lives sometimes. I do like the idea that God does the repair and it’s up to us to do the cleaning though 🙂

  2. joeldaniel says:

    thanks matt. i think that’s a pretty amazing picture. the weird/sad part is that we walk around like it’s totally normal most of the time. and as for God’s part/our part, that’s hard to figure out…i just know that both are involved : )

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