As I have done past years [EDIT: Which can be seen here -- WGS], I thought I would list some of the lessons I learned from “deleavening” our home and property this year. I like to emphasize that the physical act of removing the leaven from our homes and eat unleavened bread every day is meant to teach us spiritual truths about the removal of sin and the taking in of righteousness (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8), and noting these lessons down in writing has always been a help for me.
[I would love to have done this earlier, but the pace of life has been terrifyingly fast these days! Much to do, much to do, much to do... :) But this will be a nice break, though I may be a bit brief.]
The lessons, actually, came fast and furious this year, but I will restrict myself to some of those that came to mind while cleaning my car, several of which involved money (oddly enough, referred to as “bread” in days long gone by!).
I vacuumed our van–which was filthy with crumbs and bread-bits, by the way!–at the local car wash. While getting between the chair and the console (yuck! that was bad…), I noticed two pennies that I didn’t want to suck up (money is money!), so I put the vacuum nozzle aside and reached with my fingers, trying to get them out of the space before I cleaned it. It was hard (space was very narrow), but I eventually got them out and continued.
This hit me in two ways:
- How often do we put off repenting of sin because we’re afraid of losing money or a paycheck?
- How often do we get our priorities out of whack when we address our lives? In this case, I spent about 15 seconds removing those two pennies while the vacuum hose–for which I had paid 75¢ for about 3 minutes’ worth of cleaning–sat idle. That means that while I struggled to “rescue” 2¢ I lost about 6¢, for a net loss of 4¢. I’d have been better off sucking up the two pennies!
Back to money, I did collect a lot of coins in cleaning up the car–a lot more than I would have anticipated and not all of which was in in accessible nooks but, rather, was fairly accessible but which had gone unnoticed while we were living our life. Some of it was all gathered together waiting to be found, such as the “stash” that had built up under the rubber covering of the van cup holder, which was “crummy” as all get out. (Do people still say “as all get out” today? For the record, I do.)
And from this I thought…
- Ridding our lives of the baggage of sin is often so much more “profitable” than we anticipated that it would be. Sometimes that profit is literal, such as in leaving a job due to Sabbath conflicts and finding another job we never would have considered that pays more or gives better benefits. But the greater profit is spiritual. Christ tells us that His burden is lighter than the one we bear without him (Matt. 11:28-30), and it truly is. In the end, though we do experience temporary losses in this life there is no true loss in ridding ourselves of sin and embracing the Way of God and Jesus Christ, only eternal gain (cf. Luke 17:33, Matt. 19:29).
Speaking of the cup holder, as I was cleaning up the area between our front seats (the home of much crummy, bready nastiness, to be sure) between the console and the cup holder, I kept noticing a sharp scratching against my right forearm. And it wasn’t just a feeling, it was the real deal. Here’s some of the aftermath:
Horrific, huh? Well, OK… not horrific. But, still, it stung! What was the offending item? It was hard to find! I eventually noticed what looked like a tip of a little wire sticking out from the bottom of the cup holder. I tried pulling it out (sticking myself a few times in the process), but it wouldn’t budge much. That’s when I pulled off the rubber cover to the cup holder and found…
I recognized it as one of my wife’s straight pins, which had likely fallen out of something we had in the car, finding its way under the rubber covering of the cup holder and, now, into my flesh.
And the lesson from this?
- Ahhh… Actually, I’l let you decide. Yes, a couple of thoughts came to mind at the time, but I’d be interested in hearing yours! If you have one, leave it down below.
I’m not trying to take the easy way out, here — just that (1) I’d be interested to know what sort of “getting rid of sin” analogies you might come up with for this, and (2) I have left over Chipotle for lunch sitting upstairs waiting for me, and suddenly continuing to type on this post sounds less attractive. (No, seriously, it’s more (1) than (2)…) And in addition to lessonifying my experience, feel free to add any lessons you believe you learned from you own experience, as well. [EDIT: And your patience will be appreciated if your comment sits in the moderation queue for a while until I get to approving it! Thanks! -- WGS]
I hope the rest of your Days of Not-Fluffy-In-Any-Way Bread go well!