A week or so ago, some creature (I'm assuming it was a mouse) got into the parsonage breezeway and proceeded to tear open a bag of bird seed I keep there. The next morning, I found a very messy pile of sunflower seed shells all over the floor. I was busy that day, so I simply picked up the bag of bird seed and moved it to another location. Not such a bright thing to do. The next morning, there was a SECOND pile of messy sunflower seed shells in ANOTHER spot on the floor. I picked up the bag of bird seed (very carefully, now that there were TWO holes chewed in it) and stuck it into a plastic container on the table. You guessed it. Now there was a pile of sunflower seed shells on the table. Finally, I poured the remainder of the seed into a container and put a lid on top. That was 5 days ago. So far, the plastic container and all of the seed has remained untouched. Hallelujah.
Here's my confession. The piles of shells are still sitting in the same spots. Oh, it bothers me to look at the mess when I go out there, but interestingly enough, it hasn't bothered me to enough to clean it up. Yet. And the reason for that is because I was expecting the person who cleans for me once a month to be here at the beginning of this week. So without even thinking about it, I decided I could afford to ignore the mess because my brain told me it wasn't my job - it was someone else's.
However, I found out tonight that my house isn't going to be cleaned until NEXT week. Well, that throws the clean-up job right back into my lap. I've managed to tolerate the mess for this long, but there is no way I can tolerate it for a whole extra week. So tomorrow, I intend to get the vacuum out and make the breezeway presentable again. And it will be quite a relief to not have that mess staring me in the face every day.
You know, it would really be a simple thing for me to run the vacuum, clean the bathrooms, keep the floors swept and mopped, and clean the kitchen. I'm perfectly capable of cleaning my own house. But the beauty of having someone scheduled to clean once a month is that I'm way less obsessive about it. I'm perfectly okay (up to a point) with crumbs on the kitchen floor, a living room carpet that could use a quick vacuum, and other odds and ends around the house that would normally drive me up a wall - all because I know someone other than me is responsible. The result is that I'm able to sit in peace, for instance, during my daily quiet time with God each morning and not find myself involuntarily being distracted by the many tasks that need attending to. And, in my humble opinion, that kind of freedom is well worth the cost of a monthly cleaning lol.
So what is it that YOU could use a little freedom from? And how can you find that freedom? Even more importantly, wouldn't it be wonderful to free up some time and energy to devote to your spiritual growth this Fall? We're all busy people, but have you ever considered giving something up in order to perhaps add a Bible study or at least a personal prayer and devotional time to your daily schedule? What can you let go of in order to join a choir or become involved in a mission or ministry project? I invite you to ponder that possibility!