Though I am in danger of overburdening the “Spring cleaning” metaphor . . .
Just as we sweep clean our homes for Spring or before family comes to visit, so too must we deliver a thorough spiritual spruce-up to ourselves on a regular basis. When our lives fill up with commitments and projects we often lose touch with God. Attacking this clutter is the only way to set things aright with our Creator.
In my home cleaning is often connected with hospitality; the wife and I call these speedy household overhauls a “blitzkrieg.” In our minds a messy home is bad form when visitors are concerned. In fact, a messy home is perhaps worse than asking guests to help sort socks and sweep the floor.
Welcoming God into our lives is a form of hospitality, and spiritual clutter can put a damper on our fellowship with the almighty much like laundry piles on the couch and toy-littered floors hinder visiting with company. If we fail to create a space for God in the midst of our projects and appointments he will not be able to settle in and live among us. Much of Christian spirituality is concerned with the ongoing task of chopping down towering distractions and clearing out a parcel of holy ground.
When God acts he is completely other and separate from us. He is magical and we have no part in making that magic. But we will rarely ever experience this if we fail to make room for the magician. We are the hosts waiting for God’s visitation.
Spirituality is essentially a form of hospitality. That is why a meal is at the center of Christianity: God is most interested in visiting us and making his home among us. If we fail to create space for a meal and a proper visit, then we should not be surprised that little happens when God stops by.
Magazines on the table, bills on the counter, books on the chair, the radio booming, the computer beckoning for attention: all of these clutter our lives and leave little room for the most important guest.