Over the past several weeks, I have prioritized convenience over spending time taking care of small daily tasks. When neglecting small daily tasks day after day, they begin to compound into much larger, more difficult tasks to complete. My car is a perfect example. When I am running late, I tend to grab an arm full of clothes, snacks, chargers, papers, etc. and throw them into my car in case I need them while I am out. It is helpful initially, but after a few days, the car becomes a complete mess. The same concept applies with my bedroom. When I am too tired to tidy up a small mess, I let it go day after day until my room is one bigger mess. Once the mess becomes larger, I don’t want people to come in, I have difficulty concentrating and feeling my best, and the place that is suppose to be a source of comfort and warmth becomes a place of stress.
Beyond physical “messiness,” I have experienced mental clutter as well. When I have so many things on my mind I forget that I promised my little brother I would play ping pong with him, or when I am consumed by all the things I need to get done that I forget to take my dogs on a walk. I’ve been overwhelmed by all that is going on in my thoughts and in my life that I managed to neglect updating posts on this site for a few weeks. Yes, I’ve been working, volunteering, spending time with people close to me, and doing a lot for others. Even my spiritual life has been strong as of late. From the outside, things are pretty great. What about the inside?
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”
– Luke 11:37-41
Today’s Gospel reminds us of the importance of taking care of our inner selves. The Pharisee basically says, “Yo- Jesus, you’re not doing what we normally do and what looks good from the outside, what’s up with that?” And Jesus responds by saying something to the effect of, “It’s great that you do all the right things bro, but does that even matter when you aren’t spiritually sound on the inside?” He reminds us that God didn’t merely make out external gestures and appearances, but He made every part of our beings, including our innermost selves. This is precisely why it is important to constantly strive for internal growth and improvement every day. We need our lives to be free from clutter, filth, and sin. Anything that is preventing us from living as fully and as righteously as we can possibly live must be eliminated from our lives.
This week, take the time to cleanse the grime of the inside of your cup. Set a timer and take 10 minutes to tidy up your desk. Take 20 minutes to clean out your car and vacuum the crumbs, dirt, and stale cheerios off the ground. Plan ahead, and do what it takes to make every bit of your home inviting so you never feel like you have to hide messes from anybody. Be transparent. If there is a part of yourself or an insecurity you try to hide, work on being able to bring it to light. Amp up your spiritual life. Replace the time you spend before bed on your phone Googling your questions, checking your Instagram, and responding back to Facebook posts with a few extra minutes reading scripture. Spend time on the parts of your life that will benefit your inner self, providing you with peace.
May the good Lord fill you with abundant blessings today and always!