Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dealing with those wascally dustbunnies of the soul

I love knickknacks. I hate dusting. This is not a compatible combination!

I do dust but not with joy (or Pledge!). I’m stuck with the need to dust at least once in awhile because it needs to be done. I do it because I hate having dust-crusted knickknacks more than I dislike dusting. Well, almost more.

The rest of the time, in between dustings, what dust there is I can usually tolerate. Keeping the lights down low helps.

Isn’t it amazing how dust seems to disappear in the shadows? And useful when guests show up unexpected and the dusting’s not done! But just wait until morning when the bright sun skims into the house. Every dusty surface is fully exposed. Even the air is revealed to be alive with dust motes—the food of dustbunnies.

Hidden but not forgotten

Dustbunnies are those wascally wabbits of accumulated dust hiding under beds, behind couches, the back of the closet, and in other obscure corners of our homes. Much of the time we can deal lightly with the dust on visible surfaces. A quick once-over now and then with the feather-duster gets us by.

But when a breeze sweeps through the room those devilish dustbunnies will come hoppin’ out of their hiding places! The cats love when this happens—they think it’s play time.

Left uncleaned, accumulated dust can cause a variety of discomforts. Just knowing it’s there can be annoying.

So it is with our souls.

The dust of death

We collect the dust of living in this world daily. Sin is in the air just like dust specks. It sticks to us. This is why daily washing in the Word is needed (Ephesians 5:26).

And more than just a little feather-dusting the Holy Spirit wants to shine the Son under the furniture of our souls and into the closeted corners of our hearts where the dustbunnies of self-seeking pride, secret sin, harbored hostilities, petty pretense, giddy gossip, little white lies, willful ignorance, and more are hidden.

Spiritual dustbunnies left undisturbed are more like forgotten Easter eggs gone bad. They don’t stay forgotten forever. The smell as they rot eventually attracts attention.

Often, we try to keep our soul’s dustbunny zoo from being too noticeable by keeping the spiritual light down low. We do whatever we have to do to contain, cage, and cover our spiritual dustbunnies; anything but clean them out.

They become our pets; sins protected, coddled, kept. We know they need to go, but not just yet. We knock off some of the surface dust so we appear presentable, but the hidden dustbunnies of our soul grow bigger.

Not so warm and friendly fuzzy wuzzies

Sin can become such a part of us we may fail to see it as sin. If not careful, we’ll become like the Pigpen character in the Peanuts comic. He’s the one who kicks up a cloud of dust everywhere he goes. It’s become so much a part of him, Pigpen doesn’t think of his dirt as damning. He’s proud of himself, dirt and all. It’s just the way he is! So it is in our lives if we fail to do regular soul cleanings (Luke 6:42).

An accumulation of sin-dust ignored will make us sick. Just as dust in a mechanism can break down gears and gum up works, so sin can eventually bring our spiritual lives to a grinding halt and a very bad end (Romans 6:23).

In Matthew 23:25-26, Christ warns about this, saying, "Woe to you…You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean."

Nature abhors a vacuum, but our souls need one

Dustbunnies of the soul are deadly. Any thought of them being warm and fuzzy, cute and cuddly is an illusion.

Just as we let go of our childhood Teddy Bears, so as we mature in holiness we need to expose and relentlessly eliminate spiritual dustbunnies before they eliminate us from the prize of heaven.

We need to get out our spiritual  vacuum cleaner and get busy.

As Paul said, "let us [dust] off everything that hinders and [thoroughly Hoover away] the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).

Don’t wait for Spring to start cleaning! Every day is the right time to clean up our act rather than just acting cleaned up.

After all, cleanliness is next to godliness, spiritually speaking that is. Besides, letting the dustbunnies accumulate is just a little loony. Don’t you agree?

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