Cleaning out the garage seems to be a constant process. I get it cleaned up, swept out, everything is in it’s place…you could eat off the floor. I feel great about it. I invite Judy to come see it…”wow, what do you think?” She says it looks great. 20 minutes later I bring someone else down to see it…”what do you think…”
Part of my joy is that I think it’s a “one and done” project. I cleaned the garage and “I’m good to go”. Maybe in a year, I should do it again. The problem is that next week it’s already a mess again. I’m actually surprised that it needs constant attention. I realize that some things need daily care and work…you do the dishes every day, you make the bed every day, you make dinner every day, but the garage should stay neat and clean. Very strange.
Sometimes I can think of “taking my prayer time, doing some spiritual reading, and maybe some other spiritual efforts” like cleaning the garage. “Gee, I just did it…I’m good to go for a good while.” (I know this BLOG is pretty deep, so hold on for a bit and it will clear up.) I just had my prayer time…I just went to Adoration, I just gave some alms, I just……. .
This is actually pretty embarrassing to admit and it reveals something about me that needs attention. I too often serve God out of duty and I can get tired of doing my duty. I want to relax and take it easy. I know some of the obvious comments that need to me made…” Dave, you should pray out of love…if you love someone, you want to be with them, you want to serve them and be kind to them. If you love God, there should be joy and laughter and peace and happiness.” Oh boy, now I’m really feeling guilty….you’re right…you’re right….I can’t argue with you.
But, I also know that we are in a spiritual battle. As St. Peter said, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1Peter 4:12) We’re called the “Church Militant” for a reason…. we’re in a battle, and it’s not easy.
And St. Paul gives us some great advice on how we are to proceed…. Put on the whole armor of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Eph. 6:10-18)
So, it’s often not easy to follow the Lord, but it’s worth it. Let’s encourage one another to “stay in the fight, and to not quit”. And one of these days, “the garage will be spotless and sparkling and never get dirty and cluttered again”… and that is called HEAVEN. And that is very good news.