Raleigh, N.C.

It’s almost time for spring cleaning!

If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a lot of stuff you don’t want or need any more. It’s amazing what we have stuffed away in our houses — old books, photos, clothing and other items that are important and serve as significant markers in our lives. However we can’t keep it all.

If we neglect to clean our houses, there will not be room to add anything new.

A few weeks ago, we entered the Lenten season. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, this forty-day period prepares us to live into the events at the end of Jesus’ life — his suffering and death on the cross.

Through the Lenten journey of reflection, repentance and prayer, we are confronted with many aspects of the Christian life in general — and our sins and shortcomings in particular.

One of the common practices of Lent is the giving up of something that reflects a return to simplicity and purity. We can all identify aspects of our lives, whether materially or spiritually, that need “cleaning” to have a greater relationship with God.

Giving up something for Lent (or any other time) is not easy. Difficult decisions will have to be made. But with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, we will be able to make room for God to do great things.

The refrain of the hymn “Give me a Clean Heart” says it best:

Give me a clean heart so I may serve Thee.
Lord, fix my heart so that I may be used by Thee,
For I’m not worthy of all Your blessings.
Give me a clean heart, and I’ll follow Thee.

May God direct you to a “spring cleaning” of your life during the Lenten season.