It's that time of year when the early morning sunshine slants in through the windows and you notice that they really do need a good clean. You look around and see that there's dust on the skirting board and cobwebs in the corners.
Time to Spring Clean!
I wonder which part of spring cleaning gives you most satisfaction. Getting rid of the grubby fingerprints round the light switches? Shifting the beds to hoover up the drifts of fluff underneath? (Where does all that fluff come from?) Putting the newly washed curtains up again, smelling sweetly after drying outside in the fresh air? Then sitting down to a well-earned cup of tea, and noticing how everything shines and sparkles and that the stale, musty smell left over from the winter has gone.
There's nothing quite like it. And no short cuts. Plugging in the air-freshener and squirting some furniture polish around just doesn't do the job. It takes time, energy and hard work; but the results are very satisfying. Not that I'm particularly house-proud. My living room floor has patterned rugs so that visitors won't notice the crumbs on the floor. But I do know that a good spring clean is good for the soul.
And so is a spring clean of the soul. So easy to let the inner mess build up, instead of taking a good look round and clearing it out from time to time. Because, let's face it, none of us is perfect. Despite the rumours, Christians don't think they're better than everyone else. They don't think they're perfect. It's the exact opposite - they know they're not. But they do know that they can be forgiven; and can forgive each other; and can forgive themselves.
At this time of year, and especially in Holy Week, we're reminded of the power of forgiveness. In John Bunyan's book, 'The Pilgrim's Progress', the pilgrim arrives at the foot of the cross. It's there that the heavy burden he's been carrying falls off his back and rolls away. That experience doesn't make him perfect, but he travels a lot lighter into the future.
Enjoy the spring cleaning.