Monday, June 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning by Martin Wiles

“Why do you sweep with that kind of broom,” I asked. “Because it’s better than a stick broom.”

That was the answer my maternal grandmother gave when I asked why she swept with a broom unlike I’d ever seen before. Each year when the broom straw in the field behind her house grew tall enough, she would sickle some and bind it together with twine to make a broom.

I often watched as she used this crude instrument, but as the sun shone through the naked windowpanes I witnessed thousands of dust particles floating through the air. I couldn’t help but think: “When these settle, the room is going to be just as dusty as it was initially.” But Grandmammy was content even though she was scattering more than removing.
Integrity-doing the right thing consistently, is a lifestyle that involves periodic spring cleaning. People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall (Proverbs 10:9 NLT).

Sometimes I’m guilty of using a broom straw broom to spring clean. I scatter things that need to be swept out of the house and into the yard. When I do, my integrity fails me. Some things (and maybe even people) need to go completely out the door. While some play toys in and of themselves aren’t wrong, they can still steal my focus from God things. 

Other things are acceptable to scatter rather than remove. These are the respectable things in my life but at the same time things that need re-prioritizing. Even honorable things can get in the way of living with integrity.

Only God can give you wisdom to know what needs to go and what is permissible to simply scatter. Let him teach you how to sweep with integrity.

Prayer: Father of wisdom, give us insight into what we need to scatter and what we need to sweep out the door.

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