Sunday, August 22, 2010
May I apologize in advance for the irritating lines? Blogger refused to allow me to have paragraphs. I have a tendency to run on (and on) I know, and I feel it is important to have a little space between all those sentences. That is the best I could do! Blame it on Blogger...
I don't mind cleaning my bathroom. I know that is many people's least favorite chore, but I guess I find it satisfying. I don't keep clutter in the bathroom (isn't that what the "linen" closet is for?!) so it is not a "clean before you clean" task. Also, it is gratifying to know that when it is clean, it is finished. Not like laundry or dishes, the never-ending tasks. I usually clean the mirror, sink and toilet 2-3 times, sometimes more, a week. I clean the tub on Mondays. I clean the floor once a week, too. That is the only part of the job I HATE! Much of the time I cheat and just Swiffer around the rug (which covers most of the floor in our tiny bathroom). Sometimes I drag out the real mop and do it. And when I am feeling particularly ambitious I fill up my trash can with ammonia (why use a bucket when I can multitask and clean the trash can at the same time?) and hot water, pull on my trusty rubber gloves, grab an old rag and get down on my hands and knees.
Whenever I am being good and doing this chore the right way it always brings to mind memories of Cinderella. It particularly conjures up where she on her hands and knees mopping the huge foyer floor. She is singing, and dreaming. Then along comes Lucifer, the cat. Spying an opportunity to make trouble, he trots through the dustpan (anyone else wonder why her dustpan is so full, even when she supposedly cleans all the time? Seems just like real life!) and proceeds to track paw prints all over the clean floor, right around daydreaming Cinderella. When her bubble bursts (literally) she realizes that Lucifer has just added more work to her already seemingly impossible to-do list. However, since Cinderella is mild-mannered, she simply scolds, "Lucifer, you mean old thing!" and goes back to mopping. Besides showing off my ridiculous knowledge of Disney's "Cinderella", I do have a point.
I know something else I should do on my knees that most often I try to take the easy way out of: pray. I took Beth Moore's study "Stepping Up" and she challenges you to pray on your face, in a prostrate position. I have done that and it is crazy how it changes your perspective. Just like spending the time on my knees mopping the bathroom floor, it puts me in touch with how things really should be. Standing up with a mop in my hand, or glossing things over with a wet Swiffer, doesn't really show me all the dirt and grime that needs to go. Praying is like that, too. I can definitely get the job done with my eyes open in the car, driving down the highway. God hears me no matter where I am. However, it doesn't give me the same clarity, honesty and focus that praying on my knees does. It doesn't show me what really needs my attention.
When I put ALL my focus into praying, and not trying to do anything else, it changes how I am praying. I am not saying all your prayer time should be laying down on the floor, but I know in my own life that days go by when prayers are said in the shower, at the table, with my kids before bedtime, and yes, even in the car going down the highway. But they are tacked on with my other activities. My conversation with God is part of my multitasking plan: do more, be more. But that is one thing that needs singularity of focus.
I have kept a prayer journal off and on over the years and last month I decided to start keeping one again. I have discovered that it is imperative that I schedule this time before my darling children pop their heads out of bed, because it is all downhill after that. Devoting time specifically to praying and ONLY praying, has opened my eyes. First, I am a very "selfish" in my prayers. They are mostly about me, my needs and the needs of those I love. Second, I have the attention span of a goldfish! Third, I can talk the hind leg off a donkey, but when it comes to talking to the Creator, I am at an amazing lack for words. Spending time on my knees (literally and figuratively) isn't something I am very good at, so I have to work at it.
Which brings me back to Cinderella-told you I had a point! She is on her knees focused on her task. She is diligently attending to her responsibility. When an attack comes, she is not thrown off course. She deals with the distraction and resumes the task at hand. I want my prayer life to be like that. I want to be where I need to be so that when things beyond my control occur, I am not distraught. I do not allow a temporary distraction to consume my focus. I realize what I am doing is the right thing and I can't let other people or things keep me from accomplishing my task. It helps me see what I should be paying attention to and it shows me all that I have to be grateful for. It shows me how small I am before the Creator, but how important I am in His eyes. Being on my knees gets the job done right.:)