There are some people on this planet that enjoy cleaning.
I don’t know why, but there it is. Folks who, no matter what time of day or what day of the week, will open their door to a surprise visit with no hesitation.
Because their home is spotless.
My two sisters are quite good at this. I doubt I’ve ever visited either of them when they don’t look ready for company. Hospitable homes. Clean and healthy.
I, however, don’t aspire to such consistency. Cleaning is a necessary evil to keep viruses, roaches, and sticky stuff at bay. Nothing worse than having a large bug run rapidly across your floor when someone is over with their small child inches away from the crawling creature.
I have legitimate excuses why cleaning is lowest on my list of necessary household duties.
- It’s just going to get dirty again. Most often, quite quickly. I finish mopping the floor, and John comes in with shoes covered in grass and mud from having just mowed our swamp.
- Nobody ever notices. This is not an exercise that garners deep appreciation. Nobody walks through with white gloves and comments on my dustless surfaces.
- Rooms that aren’t especially needed at the moment can be closed off. Bathrooms, of course, need occasional upkeep. The brown-potty ring around the commode is unsightly. In potty training mode, my son-in-law told my grandson to aim for the little piece of poo on the side of the toilet. Not a high point for me.
- Crowds in a home block out the unsightly mess. They themselves become the mess, so having many over at once is a good thing.
- It doesn’t matter how well or how much I clean–I always miss something. Which negates the entire exercise of intentional house sprucing.
- There are a lot more fun things to do with my time than clean. Fun is a high value.
There will be those who are appalled that I would think so little of keeping my home as spotless as possible. It’s all about pride in ownership and stewardship of what we have.
I get that. Such thinking doesn’t trump those reasons for choosing to do something else.
Here’s the rub. At some point, it does become unhealthy. We have littles over to our home a lot, and those crawly bugs can be a nuisance. Being so low to the floor, they see every tiny piece of dirt, old food and bug parts that immediately go into mouths.
My heart and mind require constant cleaning as well. I find it’s easy to fall into habits of messiness. Having a bad attitude toward someone because of what I perceived as a slight. Focusing on the nonessentials and missing what’s really important–relationships with others. Wasting time with mindless viewing when all I’m doing is escaping from what I should be doing.
Jesus gave us straightforward words that relate to what’s truly important in life. Love God first, and love others as we love ourselves.
Relationships. Upward with God, outward with others, inward with ourselves.
In my life, that’s a cleaning task I can’t ignore.
(I’m really not THAT bad.)