With the house on the market, I have never been cleaner and neater. Things are rather sparkling and orderly around here, and it's amazing how it affects your spirit. Not that I'm going to quote that Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but I will say that order is a lot better than chaos- and I think God would agree with that.
Every time we have a showing, though, whatever project I'm involved with has to be suddenly packed up and hidden away behind closet doors. I can't get into any big baking binges, with flour flying everywhere, or start a sudden overhaul of my bedroom closet. No, I've got to maintain order and cleanliness- and maintenance hasn't never been one of my "things".
I love to start projects and I'm never at a loss for ideas. I'm even pretty adept at ending things and walking away from unhealthy relationships or involvements. But maintaining something is a whole 'nother story. Maintenance is boring. At least in my mind it is.
That's why I'm in awe at how God maintains the world. I'm astounded at how He deals with our constant prayers rising up to Him. He maintains and sustains us- and from what I understand, He isn't bored or irked by having to do this.
I see this beautiful characteristic in my husband, Mr. Steady Eddy. He really is good at maintenance- of all kinds. He stays on top of all the household fixing and repairing and updating- even while doing this for a living and taking care of so many other people's house projects. He doesn't seem to tire of all that has to be maintained here at home base.
I could almost get a little down on my own lack of perseverance and steadiness, except that the other day my daughter reminded me of a type of maintenance I apparently do that I never realized I did. Abby hadn't been feeling all that well the other day and I busied myself with making hot tea for her, plumping her pillows, rubbing her back, brushing the hair away from her flushed cheeks.
"Mom, you take such good care of me," she murmured. I thought nothing of that statement at first because I know she said it out of gratitude. But I thought about it later and realized how when we're motivated by love, we can maintain and sustain the ones we love with no thought to the work involved. There's a cost to our labor. There's time involved. There's sacrifice. Yes to all that. But we're not thinking I must maintain this person as we are bent over their bed and putting a washcloth on their forehead. We're thinking, Oh, the poor thing, I hope she feels better, how I hate to see her suffer.
And so it makes me think that there's a whole lot more to Maintenance than I realized. Maybe Auto Mechanics who service our cars and Lawn Mowing Services who tackle overgrown yards and Groomers who clip our matted dogs- maybe all these people are doing a bit more than maintenance. Maybe they're loving and serving and helping out in mundane routine tasks that God sees as tasks of kindness, service, and love.
I just felt like saluting anyone who does a routine job involving maintenance of some kind. You might not get thanked much for what you do. You might not get a lot of praise. But today my eyes are opened wide to the magnitude of what you do and the partnership you have with God who loves and sustains and maintains us so well that we often forget the wonder of that beautiful M word.