Routine Maintenance

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I have some neighbors who are moving to another home locally, and I noticed this morning that all their shrubs, hedges, rose bushes and flower beds were all cleaned up, trimmed, and were immaculate. Isn't it amazing how much effort we put into cleaning up, painting up, fixing up and sprucing up when we get ready to sell a house? Oh don't get me wrong, I do that too, every 20 years or so if I have to. I fix all the broke stuff, paint all the neglected stuff, put down new carpet and basically do everything I should have done along the way the previous years.

I do the same when I sell a car. I wash and chamois it, spray some shiny stuff on the tires, rinse off the engine, vacuum it out, and clean any spots on the seats. It's amazing that we don't take time to do that while we drive it, or maybe we do, just not very often.

How about our lives? Do we stop and spot clean them, spruce them up, fix the dents and dings, so we can enjoy them more? I'm not saying showing a little mileage is a bad thing, I'm asking if there are things that with a little effort, could be repaired, restored, or improved so that we could better enjoy our lives? If I ask myself that question, I have to answer yes.

Let us not forget all the tools we have in our toolbox either. Are we seeking answers from God's word? Are we asking for help, and are we following the directions? Do we have the right materials to fix our problems, or are we using duct tape and baling wire where we need concrete and steel? In our effort to balance a busy life with a Godly life, have we let God slip away and taken hold of things we need to loosen our grip on?

From a Christian perspective, we need a healthy balance of body, mind, and spirit, the physical versus the spiritual. We need to examine our relationship with God first and often. Are we close to Him, seeking to do His will? He will be our intimate partner if we seek Him first and foremost. Are we giving Him the time He asks for, not just on the day He has commanded us to worship, but on a daily basis? Maybe we have stopped giving Him worship time, or any time for that matter. Maybe we've lost that healthy balance.

We can't control our environment, regardless of how hard we may try, but we can control ourselves, with some well-placed discipline. We may face frustration and a feeling that we are not in control, yet God assures us we will not be tempted beyond our ability to say no, nor will we be alone in our times of insecurity. Problems will come, as will God's promise to be with as we endure them. The more we have a well balanced and well-kept life, the more we will be able to handle whatever comes our way. We don't have to try and do it all, and even in times of discouragement, let us remember our human limitations and turn it over to God.

Today, are there maintenance issues we can do better on? All of us need an occasional "spring cleaning" in a spiritual way, but we don't have to wait for Spring to arrive to do it. Let us not wait until it's crunch time, or the 11th hour to address things in our lives that we have the ability to address now. Each time we fix something, repair something, improve something, or organize something, we grow our faith, and that's what God wants to see from us, a growing active faith.

God offers us help, if we simply ask Him, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)