Time to Clean House
By Ty Salvant
When I am hosting an event at my house, I want to create an inviting atmosphere. I focus on the rooms that people can see first. Then, there is a hierarchy to my process. First, declutter then clean larger spaces, the floors, surfaces, seating and so on.
A few years ago, I realized that I clean at my eye level, which would not be an issue if I was taller than 5 feet. I noticed the top of a shelf from a different angle as I was walking someone out – I was embarrassed. Now, I include the tops of furniture, too.
Once spaces are decluttered and clean, if there is time, I will move to an adjacent room or area. Because I prioritize other tasks over cleaning, this process occurs repeatedly.
In Mass, Deacon Jody reminded us that Advent is a time of preparation, to prepare for the arrival of our most important guest – Jesus. This guest requires a spiritual cleaning and, because this guest can see all of the rooms, I cannot hide the incomplete pieces.
There is no sweeping my sins and struggles under the proverbial rug.
How am I getting ready? I am reflecting on my actions and inactions this year. I am prayerfully asking God to remove the log from my eye so I can accurately see areas of struggle.
Similar to looking past my eye level, I am asking friends and family how I hurt them this year, so I can better love my neighbor. I am refraining from pointing out someone else’s splinter.
I am going to bed earlier so I can go for early morning walks where I can appreciate the gift of nature given to us. I am making better food choices to enhance my mood so I can more lovingly engage with my children.
I am keeping a gratitude journal so I remember to give thanks always for the many gifts God has bestowed.
How are you preparing for our guest?