Clean (your soul) as you go.

The kitchen in our 1920’s circa house includes an old-fashioned pantry.  It houses the usual mix of seldom-used cookware, seasonal dishes, cans, boxes, and potatoes.

From time to time one of the potatoes starts to rot.  Of course, I  don’t know it right away.  A whiff of something peculiar hits the nose but it is easily dismissed…at first.  A few days later the stench permeates the entire tiny room. Usually the excavation results in a single rotten potato.  When removed, sweetness returns.

Our sins are like that potato. A sense that something is out-of-order invades my thoughts of what’s for dinner.  A whiff indicating that all is not quite right with my world creeps in while driving to work.

I decide that it must be exhaustion and try to catch an extra hour of sleep, but the odor doesn’t go away!  The urge to go shopping might hit next, followed by browsing the Internet for weekend get-away places.  Still, the nagging feeling remains.

The passionate King David put it like this, 

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away (Ps. 32:3).

At my (upper) mid-life age, there is a slight chance that my bones might be wasting away, but I don’t think that is what David is referring to!  Sin – both what we have done and what we have failed to do –  is not good at keeping silent.

Repentance is cleaning your soul when you know something is rotting.  Often, it is a single issue in the midst of an otherwise clean life.  Like the potato, it will continue to fester and increase in odor until we get rid of it. 

What works well in our kitchens applies to our hearts, clean as you go. (adapted from Rhythms of Renewal, Letitia Suk)

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