11 March, 2017

A Process - 2nd Sunday in Lent

Cross posted from my Lent Blog site... Fortyfaithful.blogspot.com

It was summer and our son, Nick who was 9, had just returned from a two-week camp in
Texas.  It was his dad's job to clean out the trunk that held all the clothes, gear, uneaten food, ants and nastiness only a little boy can bring home from a camp experience!  The process was moving along fairly well as Ray dug through the trunk when he came to a layer of clothes that seemed to have never been worn.  They lay there in perfect foldedness (a new Hayes word).  As he removed them, he came to other basic items one of which was the soap dish. (Now, these were the days before the creation of body wash.... one simply used bar soap).  Ray took out the soap dish and opened it.... there lay a perfectly, NEVER used beautiful bar of soap emblazoned with the word, D-O-V-E!  This precious boy of ours had been away for two weeks yet his one bar of soap had never been touched! When questioned, Nick told Ray that he had been swimming every day!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me Psalm 51:10

Scott led us to this verse last week and I've been pondering it ever since.  To 'create' takes time and takes a subject willing to be molded, changed, remolded, tweaked by the creator.
My son's intention was for a clean body but he took a shortcut.  When I read this prayer from David as he poured out his heart to God, it resonates with me.  It speaks to my soul and I too want a clean heart to be created inside me....
But like my son, I'm afraid I often make a different choice.
Was Nick not aware that he needed soap?
Was he too busy?
Was bathing just a low priority?
Was he anticipating that the process would be too slow?

Can we draw parallels from this childhood story? Like my son, perhaps I need a new definition of clean!  For I've tried and tried to become clean in my spirit.  I've said the words, I've prayed the prayers, I've earnestly desired this cleansing yet I still feel stuck in the words.  So, I read further in the Psalm and noticed that David continues his writing as if he senses that this clean heart deal is a process.

Verse 12, reads Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me... 
and
Verse 17, the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart...
(just a heart with the correct priority, i.e. God on the throne on my life instead of the bossy, needy me that usually rules my life).

Could these two verses be the HOW of a letting God create in me and in you a clean heart?  
By letting Him do the cleaning in His on time and in His perfect manner...
By being willing to give my own needs and selfishness to Him every day...

Is this second week of Lent such a time in my life?  We're busy people.  We go and we go and yet we all are still seeking something more.

This creating of a clean heart is a process inside each of us.  Am I ready to let Him do His work inside me?  Am I willing?
Or do I think I just don't need the cleansing?
Am I too busy?
Is such spiritual work a low priority in my life?
Is it taking too long?

Create and keep creating a clean heart in me, Oh God.


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