The Problem with Cleaning is...
The problem with cleaning is the sole fact that it requires you to remember. From things as simple as cleaning dishes to cleaning a room. It comes down to organization. How many times have you said exasperated to a friend, “I just need to clean up!”
Seeing as it is January 1st, the cleaning concept is not far from anyone’s minds. In fact, it is most likely very near by. If you are hip and with the times, you probably posted a “2018 Top Nine” picture on your instagram. A great way to remember your public life and what people cared about the most. You would go to the website, topnine.com, put in your instagram user name, and it would spit out a collage of 9 of your most liked pictures for the last year.
I have never been cool or on trend when it comes to social media, heck, my “grid” is not carefully cultivated like your succulent! I am either a mom posting about the cute kids I nanny and or I am lurking watching your every post. I won’t like your posts though. People shouldn’t receive validation by publicly sharing their lives. Yet, I continue to lurk. Why do I care so much about what people share with me? Do I truly have the infamous #fomo?
The last several years, the Fear Of Missing Out has become much larger than just a cute hashtag. It is an epidemic causing thousands of kids, teens, and adults anxiety. My guess is it started when Jane and Jack went skiing one year and decided to post about it. A couple hours later, Donna is scrolling through instagram while in the bathroom and thinks to herself that she never does anything that fun. So she pulls up her big girl pajama pants, finds a cup of hot chocolate, a fuzzy blanket, and her bible… Boom! #fomo and #culturalchristianity is born.
Obviously, it probably didn’t start like this, but I do think it started something like this. I can be found watching netflix, reading, or playing with the kids. Rarely will you find me cleaning my room, doing laundry, or putting things away. Obviously the fear of missing out on something plays a role in everyone, but it pulls your attention from things that actually matter.
Cleaning my room isn’t as much of “hey let me do all of the other things because I don’t want to miss out”. “Hey let me avoid my responsibilities as a human adult because I would rather have fun and not regret things”. If you look closer, people don’t like change. Change means discomfort. Change means new things. But here’s the thing, cleaning can be a constant and changing variable. For some, cleaning is a good thing. It helps maintain order in their lives. For others, cleaning is uncomfortable and means change.
My problem with cleaning is my room is a safe space for me. My clothes, books, pens, workout gear, all will somehow find it’s way outside of my room slowly taking hold of new territory to claim as my own…
Growing up I longed for consistency. I longed for a place that didn’t change like the people, places, and things around me. Squirreling away office supplies, jars, candy, and family belongings was my way of freezing this moment. Much like taking a picture, I wanted to keep a moment of this time frozen forever. I wanted to remember. I also wanted a place that wouldn’t be changed by the things around it. Kinda like how a diner always looks like it somehow got stuck in the 50’s and just said, “Oh well” when the new more modern furniture and fixtures came out.
See, the problem with cleaning is our dependance on fixing or desiring to stay put. As Christians, we were never created to be “comfortable”. We were never created to be able to fix anything. We were never created to stay in one place, mindset, community, etc. We are unable to fix anything. The second the Snake rolled around in Genesis was the exact second we lost hope of fixing anything. Based on Eve’s desire to be “like God” (Genesis 3:5), she thought she could fix something that was already perfect! I am broken, just like everyone else, so why do I try so hard to stay where I am in life?
I think the answer is I still think I know what is best for me. Handing over complete and total trust of my life, future, everything to the Lord and surrendering to His plan for my life is too scary at times. Cleaning isn’t easy. Neither is loving the Lord or doing what he commands. Cleaning appears to bring order to something that doesn’t have order. The problem is, there is always going to be another mess. In heaven, there are no messes. There is restoration of the perfection that God created in Eden. We no longer will labor. We no longer will be bound by earthly sins. We no longer will strive to be like God because we have the one true God to look to and worship eternally.
Maybe today, focus on doing the opposite. If you desire to clean to maintain order, let the house get messy. If you desire to maintain an unchanging environment, do some tidying up. Whatever type of person you are, during that time, spend some time thinking and praying about God’s future for you and trusting him with all of it.