Last week I finally took the time to scrub the grout and tiles in my bathtub/shower area. It’s a job I should do more often, but I dislike it so I usually put it off. I should tell you that we live in a house built in 1905. We have a dumbwaiter in our bathtub. Thing are not very modern or up-to-date, including the tiling and bathtub. There are stains and molds that I just can’t scrub away, no matter how long or hard I try, or what type of cleanser I use. And so, even when it is really clean it still looks dirty. For this reason, I often don’t bother to scrub it very well at all. But I knew it had a been a while, and so I decided to tackle the job – one of the most unpleasant parts about homemaking, right up there with changing a crib sheet.
As I was scrubbing I thought about how the tiles and grout are much like my own life. Sometimes I get so tired of falling, of getting tripped up by the same sin or temptation, that I just decide to not try anymore. Or I relax my standards too many times thinking “it’s just this once” and then I find myself in a habit of sin.
My mornings and quiet times with God have been like this summer. I don’t like to admit it, but I have been…not diligent. I stayed up too late. I slept in. I had an appointment. I wanted to get to the park before it was too hot. So I skipped my quiet time. Or I put it off. I didn’t make it a priority. And before I knew it, the grout of my day – that which is holding all of the tiles in place – was dirty and disgusting. I had a bad habit. Now I have to try to break it.
I noticed little bits of dirt and “soap scum” creeping into others areas too. I didn’t scrub them away fast enough, and before I knew it they had built up. Now they will be harder to scrub off. Things like watching movies at night. We don’t watch anything even close to “bad.” Try black and white reruns of McHales Navy or the Andy Griffith Show. But they leave my head spinning when it’s time for bed, and then I don’t rest well. I fare much better when I read part of a book before bed. Something to encourage me, challenge me, help me to understand more about Christlikeness or how to parent my children in a godly fashion.
Song of Solomon 2:15 says it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. Those small things that we let slide, thinking they are no big deal. But then they turn into really big deals. So quickly and easily.
I don’t have kids in school, but I grateful for summer and all of its activities coming to a close so that I have no excuse but to get back on track. To reform my morning habits and refocus my quiet times. To evaluate my habits and my leisure times and make sure they are glorifying God.
How about you? Do you need to scrub any grout in your life?