So I really dislike cleaning. I have noticed that one place I generally avoid cleaning out as I should is my refrigerator. When the tupperware containers have been in the fridge for far too long, I grow a little terrified of making things biologically available. I have lost several good containers.
In the ideal world, I would not need to throw food out because I would shop and eat smart enough to avoid waste. Occasionally I can pull it off. But more often than not, cooking means that I have to deal with cleaning out my refrigerator. Dealing with expired leftovers.
Now I could try to do a better job labeling everything with date of cooking and dispose of it in a timely fashion when it is no longer fit for consumption. At that point, I just need to make sure I take the trash out of my house and do the dishes.
BUT it is so. much. more. convenient! to let it sit the container sit there in the fridge where I do not need to anything with it but try to work around the thing. And then it crosses the threshold where I do not really want to know the condition of the mold because I just might not be able to keep my gag reflex. And so we come to spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning is never as terrible as I make it out to be at the outset. But invariably it needs to be done as I am just a little too content with letting my fridge (and my other spaces, let’s be honest) go… to wherever that place is they go when I just too busy to attend to them properly.
I am not alone with this tendency. We tend to avoid confronting known problems proactively. At the level of our society, I stumbled across an NY Times article discussing what is going on as our water infrastructure ages; it is not pretty.
So it is with the other places of ourselves. We take food (or whatever the relevant gift is) that we are supposed to be using and well, we just do not steward it properly. It passes through the useful period and begins a slow decay. Eventually, through either our neglect or active misuse, the gift becomes toxic. And therefore we need to engage in a season of spring cleaning, taking aggressive measures to separate ourselves from the toxicity.
It is much easier to attend to the superficial physical space we inhabit through cleaning. But we must always try to approach life fully engaged with the deeper process of repentance.