There are times when our household is in great order. The kids’ clothes are switched out for the seasons. Everyone has the right sizes in their drawers, the laundry is folded and put away; and hamper levels are low. Dinner is simmering in the crockpot and my bathrooms are sparkling. Homemaking at its best.
But I should take a picture, because inevitably we run out of milk, the vacuum breaks, or someone outgrows their jeans. A day of sick children and appointments requires a leave of absence from the laundry room. The backlog builds quickly.
My friend has a plaque in her kitchen which reads: The house was clean last week, sorry you missed it. How many busy women can chuckle at that. Life in general, and life with children, can get messy pretty quickly.
I’ve been thinking this week about preparing…my home, a meal, my heart.
Preparing for a special guest starts well before their arrival–shopping, cleaning, organizing, and eliminating excess. If we have been diligent in preparing, we are ready when they arrive and able to appreciate their coming.
We’ve been talking in our Pathway about numbering our days. I’ve been considering how I am preparing for the most honored guest. Just as I prepare my home for special company, I need to be preparing my heart for my king, Jesus.
This passage has been resonating this week:
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!” Mark 13:35-37
As I consider my days, am I preparing my heart for His return? Do I live with the thought that He may pop in unexpectedly? I recall several times being embarrassed upon a visitors’ arrival. What seemed like trite housekeeping mere hours before suddenly became a glaring reflection of what I chose to ignore. In their arrival, it became very clear what I had left undone.
This is not the old idea that cleanliness is next to godliness. But rather the analogy that good stewardship gives us a picture of how we ought to keep our hearts before God. Will He find my sink filled with dishes? Will He notice I haven’t dusted in weeks? What refreshments will I have to offer Him?
Sin backlogs quickly until bitterness takes root. 1 John 1:9 reminds me to keep short accounts with God to remain in pure fellowship with Him. Do I haplessly live for myself or am I serving others? How little it takes to interrupt my daily time in the Word! Our schedule seamlessly clutters the day if I don’t deliberately pursue and protect my quiet times. And what if He finds me sleeping? Do I love rest more than prayer and worship?-not recognizing He is my rest (Hebrews 4).
He will return! While my heart will not be fully pure till my sanctification is complete, I pray all of my homefires are burning upon His return (Matthew 25). I want to be found ready for his arrival rather than fast asleep, never considering He would drop in unexpectedly.