Scrubbing Clean

English: Kids bathing in a small metal tub. Th...Most people who have kids know that each kid is very different. Rarely do you have two children who are similar, and that’s a good thing. I remember when my kids were young and so entirely unique it was hard to know they were from the same seed. Take bathing for example. For one of my kids it’s almost a religious experience. It was a holy place where he could spend hours bowing and gelling and playing in water that became so cold he would emerge from his shrine blue and puckered.

The other one though…

It was a religious experience for him too. The bathtub was sort of a “holy shrine” that you only visit once a year. One of my favorite quotes from him at that age was, “the good thing about being my age is you don’t have to wear any deodorant!”

It took him a long time to wash up, to penetrate those areas that haven’t been touched in so long, to scrub out the impurities collecting there since Christmas. Eventually he would emerge looking like a caucasian child again, freed up from the lovely ambience cloud he has carried around since his last pilgrimage to the holy of holies.

My mind is like that in a way. It is easy to fill it with impurities that seep into my consciousness and stain my heart – judgmentalism, unhealthy and sick desires, pettiness, hurt and pain, memories that continue to haunt me, failures… so many failures. Left alone those thoughts continue to gestate and take hold until I begin to live like they matter and fixate on the negative and destructive tendencies we all have.

There is a war going on in my mind. Usually, however, I am not contemplating anything horrific or illegal. Most days I am tempted, many of us are tempted, to choose the path of least resistance, do as little as possible, make selfish decisions, and forget to live my life as if it matters. That is the crux of it really. Living a lukewarm life is determined one decision at a time.

I am reminded of a definition of ‘sin’ I heard many years ago. The contention was that sin was not just the choosing of evil, but the choosing of the ‘lesser of two goods’. Choosing something that, while not inherently bad, is less than our potential and less than our best. It is an intriguing definition. Left to my own devices I am often prone to choosing less. Too often I have taken the lazy way out, the easiest road, the quickest fix.

There is a battle in each of us – between who we hope to be and who we are tempted to settle for. Between the potential me and the sellout. Between the Scott that will change his world and the Scott who will take the easiest path. Few things worth doing come easy.

There is a battle going on in you too. It is so much easier to take the path of least resistance. Two roads diverge in a wood. It’s tempting to ignore the changes that need to be made, to scrub up only the parts that are most exposed. Things like character and integrity are difficult and elusive, especially when no one is looking.

As I write these words, in the background, in the kitchen, Dustin Kensrue is singing:

spring time in heaven

I’ve got a feeling, it’s hard to explain
Feels like the devil rents a room in my brain
The things I’m ashamed of feel like dear old St. Paul
The things that I wanna do, I don’t do at all
So bury me deep, cover me with snow
Wrap me in sleep, blanket of ghosts
Spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak
I wanna kiss your lips, but I kissed your cheek
Hear my request, give this one on fair way
Please take me home before it’s too late
Bury me deep, cover me with snow
Wrap me in sleep, blanket of ghosts
Wake me when it’s spring time in heaven
The tears are all white from my face
Wake me when it’s spring time in heaven
When I’m strong enough to walk in that place
So bury me deep, cover me with snow
Wrap me in sleep, blanket of ghosts
Wake me when it’s spring time in heaven
The tears are all white from my face
Wake me when it’s spring time in heaven

When I’m strong enough to walk in that place.

5 thoughts on “Scrubbing Clean

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