Keeping house is a tough job, even with just two adults in the home. My wife is an excellent housekeeper, and I have to say that I contribute a decent amount myself. But in the past few weeks, my wife and I have tried to up the ante by progressively maintaining the elevated level of cleanliness often only achieved when visitors are coming.
We've done a pretty good job. Our laundry is sorted, dishes caught up and living room as cozy and put-together as ever. But taking the small steps of maintenance has been more difficult than I expected. It has required us often to forsake a momentary desire - for television, the Internet, reading - for the benefit of our goal. It's surprising how little the virtue of self-sacrifice is practiced in American life, even when the brunt of what we call "work" is taken on by machines.
But aside from the denying ourselves, there's another parallel to the Christian life in our quest for a clean home. Without the small sacrifices, the larger picture can't take shape. If we don't act on today's task or the next day's, our tomorrow will be a mess, and we'll spend it in a cleaning spree rather than doing something we desire.
I think my Christian life suffers from a lack of maintenance. Rather than a tidy, disciplined heart picked up as I go, I'm often between the clutter and filth of inconsistency and the sparkle of full-on devotion. More maintenance in my daily life is in order. God knows my heart is not.