I have a weird schedule compared to most. I’m usually up pumping coffee through my veins every other Sunday morning at 4:45am preparing to teach. On Thursday afternoons at 3pm I tease children as we pack bags of food at their school so each of them has food on the weekends. On Wednesday nights I have conversations with some people from my Community Group about how to bless those around us. The Ohio State University Buckeyes football game always makes an appearance on my Saturday schedule so I can cheer with friends. It’s a varied, and often crazy, schedule. Every day is different.
Most would agree that constant change like this tends to take its toll and I’m no different. So in the midst of constant change, I’ve had to create some habits of rest and reflection. Times to stop and be still, to reset and redirect for the days ahead. You could call them holy halts or Sabbath keeping if you’d like. I haven’t named my discipline yet, but Tuesday mornings is where my Windex bottle intersects my schedule.
A glass top desk looked beautiful in my mind when my roommate let me borrow it. Sleek, clear and stylish, I thought. This is certainly true, until you start using it! As books pile up, laptops are moved, water glasses sweat and fingers tap—smudges not only appear, but dominate. Great idea! I’ve told myself over and over again. You see, the hurried, action-packed, people-packed schedule that I have is reflected with absolute clarity on my desk by these smudges. These smudges are a reminder of all that I’ve rushed through and messed up in the previous week and all that is to come in the week ahead. But when Tuesday morning comes in my schedule, I stop, with bottle in hand, and a take a deep breath before wiping them clean.
As I wipe I reflect on the words of David from one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 51:
‘Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.’
Each week smudges appear not only on my desk, but also within my heart. Tuesday mornings are when I stop, with bottle in hand, to ask God to cleanse. It’s just a part of my schedule. I guess you could say I have a Windex-shaped life—a life of recognizing the mess and asking God to meet me within it.
What habits do you have that remind you the smudges wipe away clean? How do you invite God into the mess?
On this Tuesday I pray you’ll identify some time for a holy halt, with or without the Windex, to allow God to meet you in the mess. You see, it’s always cleaning time in God’s schedule and he has a bottle in hand. Are you ready?