by Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
I hate cleaning house. No, seriously. I hate it. Ray will tell you that he knows when I’ve been on a cleaning binge because I’m cranky, to put it both mildly and delicately for a church newsletter. But I clean because I enjoy the results. I also know it’s healthier for our family. (With a perpetually shedding Labrador, we vacuum a lot!) And, I know if I do some cleaning each day, it’s easier to keep it from getting out of hand. I’ve been told (but choose to believe it’s an urban legend) that there are actually people who enjoy cleaning.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God …”
I love this verse written by David. He needed to do more than a little spring cleaning of his soul. David had made some really bad life choices. He knew he had to get back on the right path and believed that started with a clean heart. If you look at different translations of this verse, you’ll see where David asks God to create a pure (instead of clean) heart—both mean one thing, a complete contrast to the dark life he was leading.
“… and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Instead of a steadfast spirit, other translations have David asking God for a resolute spirit, a right spirit or even a loyal spirit. This is a prayer for cleansing and forgiveness. It is also a prayer of humility. This humble plea acknowledges that David alone is unable to fix his heart or his spirit. It will take an act of the Almighty to create and renew.
Maybe we could take a cue from David and try a little spring cleaning of our souls in addition to our homes. Now that I think about it, there are some similarities: results to enjoy, a healthier family life, and a way to keep things from getting out of hand. Now, time to grab that spiritual Dustbuster and get back to work!