So then, let us purify ourselves from everything that makes body and soul unclean, and let us be completely holy by living in reverence for God. – 2 Corinthians 7:1 (TEV)
I love pockets. Into them I cram the bits and pieces of my daily life – stuffing from an old pillow, paper clips, pens, screws, fingernail clippers, gum wrappers, pop bottle caps, rubber bands, used tissues, unused tissues, receipts, keys, loose change, buttons, even the cat’s shed hair.
One pocket is not enough. I like at least two: Into the left pocket I put the things I will throw away. Into the right pocket go the items I’ll either use soon or need to put where they belong. At the end of the day I empty my pockets. It wouldn’t do to carry today’s debris around with me tomorrow. And neglecting to remove a tissue buried deep in the pocket of a pair of jeans tossed into the washing machine can get messy. The right pocket items are put where they belong – in a cupboard, closet or drawer. Tomorrow I will start my day with pockets clean and ready.
I have “spiritual” pockets, too. In them I stuff the bits and pieces of my spiritual life. Deep in my left pocket I push that exaggerated truth, twinge of envy, thoughtless remark, moment of discontent, act of selfishness, word of gossip, hurt feelings. Into my right pocket go the things I often need at my fingertips: honesty, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion, kindness, gentleness, and humility.
Like my physical pockets, my spiritual ones also need emptied and scrutinized every day. Disposing of each day’s left pocket accumulation through confession makes tomorrow’s lighter to carry and quicker to discard. Too often, however, I don’t dig deeply enough, and bits and pieces of an overlooked “tissue” cling to the fabric of my life. That’s why it’s important to ask God to show me what I’ve missed. After I’ve cleaned out my left pocket, I sort through the contents of my right pocket and apply them where they belong – on a relationship, attitude, habit, or perspective.
And tomorrow I start over, with pockets clean and ready.
Father God, keep Your hands in my pockets. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Ephesians 4:22-32