Worship While You Clean

I did not originally intend for this to be a part of the Whistle While You Worship series, but its necessity certainly presented itself to me. Last week my wife handed me a brochure that came in the mail. She was wondering if I was serious a few months ago about wanting to hire someone to clean our bathrooms. You see, I had a terrible experience and attitude the last time I cleaned the shower. The chemicals were overbearing, the physical exertion was excruciating, the emotional trauma was almost too much to handle. It was then, on my knees in the shower, that the brilliant idea popped into my head to obliterate this nonsense by hiring a cleaning person. It's a win-win, right? She makes money, while I don't have to suffer. Well, it's been three months, and no, we haven't hired anyone, and yes, it's been three months since I scrubbed the shower. My wife saw how much I complained and hated doing it, so she picked up my slack the last couple months.

The front of the brochure reads, "Life's Too Short...To Clean Your Own Home!" Below the blurb is this photo of a family in their bright, clean home, spending time enjoying one another with smiles on their flawless faces, almost as if to say, "Life is perfect, my family is perfect, my house is perfect, and it's all because we didn't have to scrub our own scum." But there's more to the story this picture implies. It continues, "Life would suck, family would suck, and our house would suck if we had to clean it ourselves."

Open the brochure (which, I might add, is done very well) and read, "We'll Clean Your House...You Live Your Life." This company is capitalizing on the human misconception that cleaning isn't a part of real life. Cleaning is an inconvenient means to the end of enjoying life in a clean home. The problem is, cleaning is a part of real life, demanding our worshipful attitude and God-honoring work ethic just as much as anything else we do.

I can't help but think about all the Scriptures concerning God-ordained, Jewish customs of cleanliness, especially in relation to worship in the house of God. The entire Law involves cleansing and preparation for worshiping God, and much of it pertains to worshiping Him particularly in His house, the Temple. Our lives, our calling as God-worshipers, reflects this very cleanliness and preparation. In a sense, our homes are little God-houses, sanctified for the worship of God. Do we view our homes in this way, as a place of daily worship? If I did understand this, then the very act of cleansing my home would be sacred, heartfelt, and joyful.

Instead, I have been lazy. Laziness is a symptom of my lack of worship. Laziness speaks to the fact that I often don't view my house as a place of worship. Rather, I see my house falsely as a place to merely eat and sleep and nominally enjoy family and friends in between my real life of worship activity. This is wrong. My home is a sacred house of God, demanding my fullest attention down to the smallest detail. Why? Because God lives here.

Trust me, by no means have I arrived. The Lord began showing this to me the other day whilst I was scrubbing the shower tiles and vacuuming the house. I spent about four hours basking in His presence, dwelling on Him, and preparing a dwelling place for His presence. I delighted in Him while I cleaned. And talk about instantaneous fruit of labor, not only did I get a clean house out of the deal, I got a happy wife. In honoring God, I honored my wife, and she absolutely loves a clean house, even more so when I clean it and do it well. Let this be an encouragement to all, especially myself, the next time the opportunity to cleanse the temple arises.

Some people already enjoy the act of cleaning, and some may even make a living cleaning for others. I would encourage you to worship while you clean. Intentionally honor God in what you do. Adore Him as you scrub scum. You are preparing a temple for the most high God, whether it is your own house or someone else's. And for those of you who do hire cleaning persons, feel no shame. But, "whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31). The priests had a number of responsibilities in the Temple. I'm sure (at least I hope) if you have chosen to hire cleaners, you have lots of other responsibilities in which you can be worshiping God. Also, be aware that your cleaning person is preparing your house, your temple, for you and God. Honor them for doing so. My hope for all of us is that when Jesus comes into our homes, He won't have to cleanse our temples of filthy idols and pagan worship, kind of like He did in Mathew 21:12.

The next WWYW post will be about our bodies, temples of the Lord, "Worship While You Eat." If I never get around to writing it, you know why.

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