Theology in the Trenches: Sweeping Changes

By: 
KATHLEEN KJOLHAUG
Religion Columnist

It was time for seasonal transitions at “The Cabin” and alone I was. Befuddled as to where to begin, I was bedraggled. Help would not arrive for another twenty four hours, so trying to make the best use of the time at hand, was important. Surely I could do something on my own besides clean the main quarters.

I made my way out of doors with downcast eyes. As far as I could see, a sea of leaves had settled over the property like carpet awaiting removal. The light layer of snow upon them did nothing to encourage, but as I turned, the garage seemed to beckon. 

With a click of a button, the curtain rose. Piles of items placed or misplaced bowed before me. Center stage was one heavy laden fishing boat, just to the right was a lawn mower or two, and sidled nearby was the seasonal snow-blower. Outcast furniture donated from the kids traveling in and out of life’s stages found shelter within this garage, and everything but a mouse trap seemed to be in sight. Tell-tale remnants that the little critters had also found refuge was obvious.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spied one red kitchen sized broom. For whatever reason, I shuffled over to it and like a long lost friend, took it in hand introducing it to the world in which I stood. With no plan of action, near the center of the garage, near grandpa’s fishing boat, my new found “little red” and I began to sweep. As we swept, I began to smile all the while marveling at the joy which emanated from such a simple, yet, familiar task.

The little pile of dirt blown in through the cracks of life was collected into a makeshift dustpan and was promptly dumped out-of-doors. Reveling in the energy this action was producing, I noticed a few tools upon the workbench to be hung. I hung them. The boxes that needed to be tossed were tossed. The older items on the shelves which needed shuffling were shuffled, and soon, order in the garage renewed my strength. Moving furniture pieces for safe keeping while tossing others brought a tremendous amount of satisfaction, and within no time, my time spent within brought with it, the long lost order I’d been desiring.

By the time help did arrive, it was mere muscle power that was needed to complete the task.

Sweeping cobwebs from round doors and windows was the final knock out round at the cabin. No longer are they there, for they have been swept away. They are gone.

Habakkuk 1:11 says, “Then they sweep past like the wind and go on-guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is not your strength, but it is God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose.”

Which way will it be? Take your pick. Trust me ... sweeping changes. Amen.
(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)

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