On Saturday we focused on preparing our hearts for the journey of Lent and this journey. Today, we focus on preparing our minds. Now that our hearts are open to change and with the Super Mom of the Old Testament in mind, we are ready to have that talk with our brain - that mass of grey upstairs that so often undoes what we attempt to accomplish before we even begin.
1 Peter 1:13 tells us "Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (courtesy of Blue Letter Bible).
Allow me to describe to you a typical "trying to leave the house" moment for our family. It starts with me trying to get the baby ready to head out the door. New clothes first, which I must ask my older son to go downstairs and retrieve because the only clean ones are likely still in the dryer or on top of it because I haven't had the chance to bring them upstairs and even if I did, there's nowhere for them to go. When the clothes finally arrive, the baby gets a new diaper (currently retrieved from the dining room because that's where he slept until this month) and is put together in his clean duds to leave and then allowed to play on the floor with his favorite toy, 2-3 empty Mountain Dew bottles of Dad's and his brother watches him. During this brief reprieve I run in circles gathering clothing, running a brush through my hair, throwing things into the diaper bag, trying to find 2 shoes, and attempting to locate my car keys.
Sometime after my chaos my son needs to get clothes and shoes. 15-20 minutes later he will resurface and we will attempt to head out the door. I will put the baby in the car seat, the diaper bag in the front passenger seat, and as my son loads up I will remember 2-3 things I forgot. So I turn on the car and my son or I run back in and grab the missing items and then out the door we finally go to head to town.
This entire journey takes about 30-50 minutes depending on the day, location of the items, and when the last time was we went to town. The longer it's been since we needed shoes, the longer it will inevitably take to find a pair. Murphy's Law. ;) On days when we don't have time and I know we won't be getting out of the car, I will freely admit to driving to town in a nice shirt, pajama pants, and mismatched shoes or better yet a pair of heels because they were the only ones I could find. Classy, huh?
Our Bible Verse today talks about preparing our minds for action to be ready for the return of Christ. Right now, I hope Christ doesn't mind being kept waiting at least an hour for me to get it together to meet Him.
Okay, okay - I know that's unreasonable. I should be ready to meet Christ at any time - but I am not ready to even greet my neighbor at the door and find out I need to chase our beagle down the street yet again because she got out. My neighbors know every pair of pajama pants I own and what color and pattern my bathrobe is. Yup - I'm THAT crazy lady.
If I am not even ready to open the door for my neighbor, how can I be ready for Christ? How can I be ready to invite Him in? To open my door? If I am to be "sober in spirit" but dress like the crazy lady, how does that work? Most people who don't know me well would probably assume I'm a better candidate for rehab than to lead this journey.
The truth is, I am not ready for Him. Not at all. It hurts to admit it, I wish I could say I were - but I promised I wouldn't lie to you. It's not just about cleaning up my house or my eating habits over Lent. It's about cleaning up my soul. The mess around me is a direct reflection of the mess within me. I want, no...I NEED to clean up these messes. If Jesus, or my neighbor, comes to my door I want to fling the door wide open and hand over a cookie with a big smile.
Peter continues "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-16)
This is the goal - to move past our former ignorance, which got us to this place and to move forward to light. Our homes, and our bodies, are vessels for the Holy Spirit. God lives within you - and He deserves the best home you can provide.