Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Wiping vs. Scrubbing
At our house in Oklahoma we had four full-time working bathrooms. They were each used by one or two people so keeping them clean (with the exception of Dawson's) was pretty easy to do. Wiping down the surfaces once a week or so was all it took.
Here in Missouri we have one bathroom. Well, we do have a toilet downstairs in the basement, but nobody likes to use it cause it's "scary" down there. I don't like to use it because the toilet seat is freezing! Anyway …
Our tiny little bathroom upstairs gets lots of action! I have to wipe down the countertops and clean the toilet every day. It doesn't matter how often I clean the floors, they are still always dirty! The people hair and dog hair seems to collect in that bathroom. I have an impossible time keeping the bathroom rugs hair-free. There is toothpaste crusted in the sink bowl and little odds and ends everywhere. We almost need a schedule to use it, and oftentimes someone is waiting just outside the door.
My point in all this, is this … I cleaned the bathroom today, more than just a wipe down. Well, I started my normal wipe down and then realized that I actually had some soap scum and water stains in the bathtub that were not the normal disrepair of our extremely old bathtub (it needs re-glazed badly!) So, I scrubbed and then scrubbed some more and then sprayed and let it sit for awhile before I scrubbed again. And it scrubbed clean and sparkly! But it took some hard work! I couldn't just wipe and walk away. I had to get on my hands and knees and SCRUB! It was time.
The important thing to note in all this is that I thought it was actually clean. It wasn't until I looked really close that I realized that it wasn't the disrepair of the bathtub that was making it look dingy, it was really dirty! I had been deceived for quite some time. I didn't even know it was filthy until I looked at it long and hard.
Then I moved onto the vanity top, drawers, baseboards and toilet and did the same. And when I was done everything felt so clean! Now, it won't stay clean for long. In fact, tomorrow I will have to wipe it down good again, and each day thereafter, or it will quickly resemble a public men's restroom. Yuck.
As I was scrubbing I got to thinking about my life. Maybe you can relate. Most days I can just wipe away the muck of my sin and bad attitude, bitterness and unforgiveness. Most days, that's enough. But then, after enough time, I look closer and see that I am not really clean at all, that's it's just an illusion, and that I need to get to scrubbing. I have to scrub and scrub and scrub, and spray the power of God's Word and Spirit on my sin, let it sit, and then scrub again. When this scrubbing is complete, things are clean and sparkly again. And it is good. Then it's easier to maintain. A simple wipe each day after usually does the trick, until the next time I find a sin issue that needs more attention.