I honestly love to clean my house.
Toilets, sinks, carpets, windows—I like to do it all. Well, except for one item. The one thing I do not want to clean is my microwave. I do everything I can to avoid cleaning that contraption. I bought a cover to set over the food while it is being warmed up. Begrudgingly, I held a family meeting to show them how to use the food shelter. I even put paper-towels on top of anything too big for the lid. In spite of my best efforts, somehow it always gets nasty, crispy food particles splattered all over! Then, the battle begins.
I have my own little internal war every time I discover the dirt-laden walls within the microwave. First of all, I am never the one who causes the food to fly inside of the microwave. Ever. Really. I take keeping that thing clean very seriously. The fact that I am cleaning up someone else’s mess is super irritating to me. Oh, I know I am being petty about it, but I can’t help it.
It frustrates me that in spite of all of my preventative measures, the thing still ends up a mess. If I KNEW who did it, they would have the honor of cleaning up after themselves. Sadly, nobody claims responsibility. I am not sure how I never seem to catch the perpetrator in the act, but I don’t. I just find the disgusting evidence of over-nuked food dangling from the walls of my microwave. Since I don’t use the microwave very often, the crud is always caked on pretty good by the time I find it. Gross. I look at it, and then I start practicing procrastination.
"I close the door, roll my eyes, ask everyone who made the mess in the microwave, and then I walk away from it."
In turn, I tell myself I don’t have time to clean it. Cleaning the microwave also involves cleaning the stove, and then the floors. I have never been successful at cleaning that thing without morsels of dried up food littering my clean floor and stove. So, I put it off. Then, I get frustrated again when I open the door and see the mess. I keep doing this until I cannot take it anymore. True confession here—that is usually only one day now, but it used to be weeks! Then, I grab a rag doused in hot water, squirt some Dawn on it, and go to town, wiping it all down.
Today was one of those days.
I opened the door, saw the mess, and walked away. Tonight, I went back to wipe it all out. I started begrudgingly, but I ended feeling very satisfied and grateful. Although I didn’t want to deal with the mess tonight, I knew it needed to be cleaned up. As I began to wipe the grime and junk out and shine up the metal rack inside, it made me think of other messes in my life. Messes that I had once ignored because it was too overwhelming to clean up. Until the mess became my entire life, and I HAD to do something about it before I suffocated in the middle of it.
The moment I stopped procrastinating and faced the mess I had made of my life was the moment I began to experience joy in living. Changing my bad habits, making good choices, and working hard to create a better life for my family was hard. At first, it seemed like chaos due to the fact that I had to unpack all of the garbage I had been trying to ignore. The dirt that had accumulated in my life like the broken relationships, the sense of entitlement I had, the selfish way I lived my life. Once I started cleaning it up, I could smile at the future. I saw opportunities and hope in front of me.
Just like wiping the grime off the inside of my microwave and revealing the shiny white walls, I cleared away all of the fragments of brokenness I had collected over the years. As I dealt with all the small things that were keeping me from dreaming, my life became brighter. Suddenly, I realized that I didn’t have to drag my stuff around for the rest of my life. All I really had to do was take that first step, and God did the rest. He wiped it all away, He gave me the courage to face every challenge, and He gave me peace and joy to make it through 15 years of Ron in prison.
I am sitting here smiling as I look at my sparkling clean microwave. I am thinking about how God reached into my heart and cleaned me so I would be ready to fulfill my purpose. He did it for me, and He can do it for you. Stop procrastinating and start walking out your dreams and living your destiny.
I am rooting for you!