A Sweeping Prayer

Every morning when I wake up, I tell myself that I need to spend time with My Father. I recite the same line every day that my day will go so much smoother if I spend time with Him, many have told me so. To sit in a quiet corner of some quiet room somewhere in my house, and have my time with Him. I have the best of intentions when I get out of bed to make this order the first order of the day, but nearly instantly my bad habit kicks in. I do not head to the a remote part of my house to hide for my conversation with God instead I head to the kitchen where I say to myself I'll just do a quick check on what needs doing today. Of course, I immediately notice all the things that need tending to. There are dishes in the drain that need to put away, counters that need to be wiped, laundry on the floor that needs to be tossed in for cleaning, dust glimmering in the morning rays that needs to be wiped away, dog and cat bowls that need cleaning and filling, and on and on it goes. My orderly side takes over instantly and I begin cleaning and straightening, and before I know it I am on my hands and knees, in my nightgown no less, cleaning up a two week old crusty dust laden spill from under the stove. 

In the back of my mind a little voice keeps calling to me that I have forgotten something, but I am sure it's nothing too important that I can think on later to remember. And back to work I go. But as I systematically work through the straightening and tidying of my house, the gnawing and nagging feeling that I forgotten something remains. I dismiss it and keep on going, steady as she goes, as my house takes shape into a pleasing sight of orderliness. My children have not risen yet to disrupt my pretty picture so I revel in it while I can. 

As I wrap up the usual frenzied cleaning, I head to back to my bedroom, satisfied and relatively content, and I say relatively because that nagging "I've forgotten something" feeling remains. I click through my mental list of things, and nope, nothing missing there, so I think. A still small voice quietly speaks to me, and then I remember. Oh no, God...I was suppose to an hour and half ago spend time with God. And being the loving and patient Father that He always is, He has just gently waited for me to remember Him. No harassing, no yelling, no berating, just waiting gently calling to my heart in the quietest of ways, a whisper you could say. But the kiddies are now awake and the quiet time has passed and the day begins, full steam ahead. My time with God is gone for another day. 

This was the routine for years, yes, years till God and I came to a compromise. Through His grace filled guidance and my daily disappointment with myself, we settled on "Sweeping Prayer". Now, everyday, God and I have some time together. My prayer time happens while I am working on my daily chores. While I mindlessly wash the dishes, I might be talking to God about my children and His plans for them. While I wash the kitchen floor, I might be asking God to take care of my husband who is worried about too many things. While I am starting the next load of dirty clothes, I might be praying for God to watch over my mom and dad. While I am cleaning a toilet, I am probably tell God how much I hate to clean toilets. Pray and Work, Ora et Labora, yes. 

As I wrap up my prayer/chore time, I always finish with my favorite prayer, sweeping. With my whisk broom in hand, and actions in motion, the best of conversations happen. I don't know if it's the soothing swishing sound of the bristles against the floor or the repetitive movement of the broom or a combination of both, but it seems to clear away the clutter of floor and in my head. Consistently, wonderful, hopeful, joyful, comforting thoughts fill my mind. Him and I, child and Dad, and I hear Him. Sometimes in clear words, sometimes in no words, and the sweeping goes on. Serene, peaceful, no agenda, just swoosh, swoosh, lost in the moment. So simple and yet so effective. Now, God and I have our time and it's more me and it's probably more Him when it comes to me to meet me where I am. Thank you, God. 

Post Script: Remember when I mentioned about God so patiently waiting on me to remember Him and how He taught me through loving patience and not harassment. Could that have also been a lesson for me to know how to tend to and teach my children and love my husband, slow to anger and rich in kindness... Something to think about.