I admit it. I go a little crazy when I get started cleaning sometimes. I can look at a mess, in my yard for example, for a long time. But when I finally start tackling the project, I'm like a wild man. Today was one of those days.
In the corner of my yard there was a bit of a jungle developing, complete with ivy that had been allowed to have its way with the yard, bushes that hadn't been trimmed since I bought the house and some random little trees that I didn't even recognize. A bit embarrassing.
So I got out my tools and started going after the mess. I didn't plan on being outside that long, but once I got into clearing out the shrubs and digging up the little bushes, and trimming, and cutting... you get the picture.
Isn't that the way life is, though? We know we've got messes in our lives that need attention paid to them. A little gossip here, a little laziness there. But it's easier to avoid the mess than it is to get in there and dig them up from the roots. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus teaches that what comes out of a man's mouth is what makes him unclean. And he also teaches that what is in the heart will eventually come out of the mouth. The things we pay attention to take root in our heart and keep us from having a close relationship with God.
I knew I couldn't avoid cleaning the mess in my yard forever. That's even more true of my heart. If I want to be close to God, then I should look at what's growing in my heart. And allow the Holy Spirit to root it out.