Here’s what happened, since you asked, and you didn’t, but here goes: we’ve had many friends and family over to our house over the past few weeks. This is a grand gift of kinship and the like, and I for one am not grinching about that at all. Simply put, many people + mud + cannonballs + >Cl = unintended life forms in the backyard oval. We’re talking about the simple rules of chemistry, and I’m no chemist (more of a musician/ponderer), but I must say that one does not need to be a chemist to see the pond-like water in our Intex Model 28131EH. I feel the shame of the homeowner which usually leads to the courage of the suburban warrior and/or waiting for it to freeze. Here in Michigan, we can always count on winter to cover us. By mid-January, none of us believe the snow will ever leave, and what is covered is simply forgotten. It’s a convenient method of landscaping denial that relies exclusively on the mighty forces of nature.
Arise the suburban warrior.
Get: chemicals. Apply: chemicals. Check afterward whether I should have mixed those. Wait: for cleanliness or something catastrophic. Either way, there’s progress.
I think about how my soul collects the same kind of garbage. Sources include the world we’re in, the constant input of information, the temperature of the room (spiritually) and, most potently, the brokenness within me. Left unattended, the waters get a little cloudy, then dirty, then green. And there’s a process to be endured.
When is a pool gross? When it’s murky and slick. When is a pool really gross? When you’re swimming in water that’s murky and slick. I can ignore the pool in my backyard (as I have for the past few days) but I can’t ignore my soul. What’s worse is this: I think I can ignore my soul, as if it’s only an occasional voice. I can avoid the topic of my heart. Whether I’m aware of it or not, everything flows from it.
Time to reflect. To stir. To skim. To treat. And then, to wait. The chlorine does something I can’t do. Jesus does something I can’t do. But, by faith, I do something in response to his grace, and he does the spiritual heavy lifting — the spiritual chemistry. My work? No. His. But I join him in this process. How… synergistic.
As I write this, I’m watching my pool heal. It’ll be a few days before someone jumps in, at least on purpose. All I did was ignore it for a few days, and nature took its course. It doesn’t take much to get the wrong stuff growing. It’s chemistry, environment, and, a lack of attention. The best approach is to stop it from reaching that point in the first place. But it can be rescued. I can be. You, too.
I try to pay attention to my soul by setting time aside for just that. God is there. I am there. Sometimes it’s deep, and other times it’s quiet. Occasionally, it’s frustrating, Just like when you’re skimming the pool and can’t get that one leaf to get off the bottom and jump into the net. Do I give up? And let the leaf win? Not a chance.
Here’s to prayerfully coming to terms with the condition of the water of our souls. And here’s to the glorious One who provides the grace and spiritual power that will take care of it.
I often start prayer by saying “Okay,” followed by “here I am.” Let Father, Son, and Spirit take it from there.