Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hidden Cosmic Compost


Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23:24, NIV 

I decided that yesterday was the day I needed to clean house.  Much to my chagrin, I don't divide my time well and have a tendency to allow housework to go untended.   I'm not a messy housekeeper, in the least, but I tend to "surface clean," which satisfies me at that particular moment.  That is, until my conscience gets hold of me and forces me into action.  Yesterday was such a day.  I figured the dog and grandkids had tracked in enough dirt after the week of rain we had, so I dragged myself up and went at it.

Mind you, I had no intention of doing a "deep clean".  You know the kind: moving furniture and scrubbing every nook and cranny and rooting out hidden offenses - what some call "Spring cleaning," even if it is mid-summer.  But I certainly decided that the vacuum attachments should be put to use; at least jabbing around with them under the couch, chairs, and into the corners.  If there was something that had fallen in those locations, I hadn't missed them and their importance was subject to debate.

As I reached the end of that process, I noticed a ball of dust poking out from behind a particular spot I had been ignoring for some time.  It was one of those locations that's small and out of sight, out of mind.  Moving things out of the way and looking closer, I realized how bad it really was.   The originator of the term "cosmic compost" escapes me at the moment (it was from a funny book I read over 35 years ago), but that's exactly what was staring at me.  The term "dust bunny" was just too mild and benign to compare to it.  So much had accumulated, it was difficult to recognize the object it surrounded.  As it leered at me like some monster out of a horror movie, I began viciously sucking it up with the vacuum, hoping that would satisfy me until I got serious about scrubbing from top to bottom.

It didn't.

Once the small offending ball of dust, hair, and who knows what was gone, more began to appear.  It seemed endless as dust and smaller balls of "cosmic compost" drifted down from the fabric it was hiding behind, and the worst of it was that when I finally got it all, what was lurking underneath was equally as offensive.

So much for cleaning the surface, today.  I spent the next half hour making sure that I had gotten everything in that corner and decided to take a quick look in a couple more.   When I was done, I sat down and started thinking about how complacent we are over things as trivial as housecleaning.  We want to put off for tomorrow what can easily be done today.  But even more, I began to equate it with the corners of our heart that we rarely examine for a buildup of sin.

Like the ignored dust that collected in the dark corner of my home, unrepentant sin can begin as a mote of dust lying idle in a corner of our hearts and can quickly build into a disgusting mess that we are forced to deal with after it has grown into a nearly unmanageable size.  Merely giving our a hearts a quick surface check-over doesn't address the hidden problems that may be lurking there.  We need to look deeply into every nook, every cranny, and every corner for the hidden sins that keep us from having a meaningful relationship with our God and Savior Jesus Christ.  And we need to do it often.

This is not to say that God isn't aware of every spot, wrinkle, stain, smear, or ball of "cosmic compost" that inhabit our hearts.  He is our Creator and knows our thoughts and our actions, including what we may be harboring in our hearts:

 “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. 

(Jeremiah 17:10)  

 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 

(Psalm 139:1-4)

Jesus Christ is our Savior because the blood of His atonement provided all that is necessary to clean us up for salvation.  All the needful scouring of our depraved hearts (sanctification) is performed by the Holy Spirit by shining His brilliant light into the dark recesses where sin may be hiding so that we may recognize them, repent, and our hearts prepared to receive the truth of God's Word.  We need to be eternally grateful that this cleansing process was afforded a worm such as us.  Without it, our souls would be caught up in the filth of sin and we would be judged accordingly.

If finding the mess I was forced to confront did anything for me yesterday, it convinced me that I need to ask the LORD to daily search my heart for any hidden "cosmic compost" that's lurking there.  Ignoring it won't make it go away, anymore than ignoring the forgotten corner of my home.  Sin needs to be confessed and rooted out.  After all, the Holy Spirit abides there.

Have you examined the corners of your heart, lately?  There just may be something skulking there that needs your immediate attention.  If there is, don't put it off - get after it for the honor and glory of God.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

Rev. 3:19, ESV


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