Kids Devotionals: Cleaning Your RoomAs a teen, your bedroom is a mirror on which your personality and passions are reflected. Though it may be small it is your domain. Its Yours! Your room becomes your mansion, your castle. Inside you are King of your palace, at least until you are dethroned by parents telling you to clean it, pick it up. Three aquariums, a nursery for caterpillars that would become monarch butterflies, a chemistry lab, an enormous rock collection, an apple //e computer, and a bookshelf filled with books of science and science fiction showed my general interest in anything science. At one point mom replied that if I added another rock to my collection I’d have to start sleeping outdoors.
Of course, like all teens, the music was too loud, and at times you couldn’t see the floor. For some reason, mom never accepted the excuse that with everything on the floor “I wouldn’t get the carpet dirty.” Like most teens, I was at times sent to my room to “pick it up”. I always wanted to go outside and lift the house and reply with a sly grin on my face "where would you like me to put it?" I had this incessant habit of taking everything literally if it gave me an opportunity to be mischievous. "Put up the towels" meant tossing them in the air and telling mom they wouldn't stay up. "Pass the mashed potatoes" was translated into passing the potatoes by you, but not stopping, or better yet, passing them to you basketball style. Unless you were prepared to catch you'd be wearing them. But in reality, for the record, it was mom who usually started the food fights.
It took some time before I understood the importance of cleaning my room. Surely my parents understood that if I picked it up, in a a few hours time it it would be cluttered again as a result of my hectic schedule. And of making my bed? What a waste of time. What was the use of making something look nice when it’s sole purpose was its destruction in a matter of hours? If I was in my room for any matter of time, I was sprawled across my bed, listening to music or reading a book. After a good night's sleep I'd have the sheets pulled from the corners. Sheets and quilts, once nicely covering the bed, would be plastered across the room. If I was lucky I would awake on the bed in the same position in which I went to bed. Most of the time, I’d wake up somehow turned around 90 or even 180 degree and would be sleeping on the bed in the opposite direction from which I went to sleep. If my bed had been a soccer field, I am sure I would have covered the entire field every night.
Eventually I came to pride myself in a clean room, though at times our definitions of clean were different. My key concern was that it was neater then that of my two sisters. Sometimes that meant really cleaning mine, at other times, like any good older brother, it meant sabotaging theirs. My favorite method of sabotage was to hang all their dolls from the canopy bed with ropes around their necks. Often they wouldn't have the slightest inclination I had been up to my tricks until they entered their room and let out a squeal, which precipitated a corresponding giggle from me.
I later discovered that my parent’s primary concern in cleaning my room was the development of self-discipline and responsibility. Now it seems that I have more than just a room that needs self-discipline to keep it in order. Our lives, like our bedrooms as teens, reflect on us. What passions and aspects of your personality does your life now reflect? Does it reflect a passion for God? What clutter do you have scattered about the floor? What, like your teenage bed, have you left undone? It seems things get cluttered so much easier as adults. Work commitments, family matters, bills, and personal habits need the same self-discipline and responsibility we needed as teens. Spiritually, the task of keeping our lives picked up is even more daunting. It seems there is always cleaning, fixing, changing, and maintaining to be done. Maybe its time someone sent us to pick up our lives, as our parents sent us to pick up our rooms.
Yet, may we always remember, like our parents, God always loves us, even when our room is a mess.
copyright 1997 - Ken Sapp
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