“Great! It looks like your have a new start.”
The time came to scrub the house. What a shock awaited me. Within the first hour the servicemen came, asking me to look at the back of the garage. Uh, oh… what problems do I have? But no, they wanted me to see the progress. They are not just pressure washing the logs – they are hand scrubbing each inch using a special cleanser.
As I rounded the corner of the garage (not knowing what to expect) my eyes widened in total shock. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! How could I imagine my house was hiding beneath all that dirt and grime? I posted the pic on Facebook and nearly 125 people celebrated with me.
What could the transformation teach?
1) Dirt sneaks up. I remember the shiny, honey-colored logs I fell in love with in 2007. Day by day, storm by storm, the weather coated my house with a film which collected the residue of seasons. It happened slowly and I adjusted to the new color – probably even telling myself it was a desirable patina. Not until yesterday did I see what denial reaped.
2) Reclamation is hard work and expensive. Neighbors with log homes do a once-over cleaning every six months. Waiting and ignoring intensify the process. The expense of manually rubbing the build-up increases the cost exponentially. Regular, scheduled care prevents major catch-up.
3) Stewardship is neglected. This house is mine to appreciate and preserve. It is not just an asset, nor a roof – it is a gift of God to be used in His service. The more I neglect the maintenance, the less I can fully enjoy the blessing. The Bible tells us everything we have is given to us. Therefore, I am responsible to be a good manager.
Great – those are obvious. How can I apply them to my life?
1) Bad habits are slow growing. A compromise, a flawed decision, a slip into sin come incrementally. Before we know it, we are moving in a dangerous direction which seems to be totally unexpected. “How did I get here” is an often heard question from people whose lives are destroyed by conflict, broken character, or even criminal activity. There is always a chain of decisions in life-altering consequences.
2) Coming back takes time and investment. We don’t go from disaster to delight without hard work. And sometimes the path has veered so far off from the original destination there is no coming back. Counseling, prayer, serious spiritual exploration all take time, require painful work, and repentance.
3) We are responsible for our decisions. God doesn’t create us to be free agents. We are “not our own.” Scripture tells us how to think, behave, and live. When we become followers of Jesus, we bear His name. Those who carry His banner are to carefully walk to honor and glorify.
Just as my house has a new start, redemption is our through the blood of Christ… the best cleanser of all.