Let me just say, I HATE cleaning floors. I love a tidy house and work pretty diligently to maintain a sense of order in our house despite the elements of Haiti, my children and my husband. When my environment is chaotic I feel it. I find I walk in peace much easier if my home is squared away. That being said, I still hate cleaning floors. When we lived in the U.S.A. I could easily get by with a weekly sweep but usually just ran the vacuum despite the fact that we had all wood floors (or I let the kiddos do it...they thought it was a treat). I will admit that I RARELY mopped. And when I say rarely...I mean really rarely. I even had one of those Swiffer mops with the throw away pads. I know all you green people out there are choking but it will make you feel better to know that I hardly used it! Messes were spot cleaned and I called it good. It is just so much work! And trying to keep little boys and their dog off wet floors is near impossible so I just didn't do it much.
Of course, we are now living in Haiti. There are many beautiful things to Haiti (that calls for another post) but it is also an impossibly dirty place. And our home is located in a rather trashy area so the challenge is to keep a clean(ish) floor while living in a pile of dirt covered by a trash dump.
This is THE perfect environment for critters. They are in critter heaven...I am in critter hell. I (the floor cleaning hater) sweep my floors 3-5 times everyday out of necessity. Every time my boys eat, there WILL to be crumbs or spills or worse. I have found that if it isn't cleaned up within 30 minutes we will be swarmed with ants. They come from out of the walls, they come up from the floors and they march their tiny warrior selves right in my front door...and they attack by the 1,000's whatever tiny morsel or drip of leftover goodness they can find.
So, my only defense is to sweep my floors.
Today, after lunch as I was sweeping, Jody was encouraging me that I was on the front lines of the battle (meaning the spiritual battle). I laughingly responded, "Yeah, I'm on the front lines of the battle against ants". I was just being my goofy self, but this got me thinking about sweeping floors in the spiritual sense.
As Christ followers, we need to be sweeping our floors regularly! We can't let little crumbs of sin sit unchecked or unnoticed or we will end up with this:
Ants. The Enemy. He will jump on the tiniest thing we let slide and attack.
I can let a quick sarcastic word to my husband pass my lips and fall to the ground. One tiny crumb. Big deal. I AM tired after all. No real need to apologize for such a minor thing.
Then, a burst of anger towards my children that I try to justify because they WERE disobeying. I TOLD them 10 times already not to do so and so. Why should I apologize when they are already off playing and seem content. Just a tiny morsel of sin, really. Again, no big deal. Right?
It may seem so..until I suddenly realize I have a huge trail of swarming angry ants that are feasting on my sin crumbles! The enemy is eating my lunch! I have allowed my spiritual house to go unswept and I'm over run with pests.
It is imperative that we sweep our floors and take care of even the smallest mess ASAP. This is the ONLY real way to prevent an infestation of the enemy into our homes. It may seem minor to let your thoughts wander, to snap at our kids, grump at our spouse...they generally don't seem to mind too much. But if we aren't quick to repent, to apologize and sweep up any messes we make then we will be sorry later. It is much easier to sweep up a few crumbs throughout the day than to have to battle the infestation. Because let me tell you from experience, the enemy doesn't go without a fight! Those ants can sting.
Keep those floors clean!