First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,
and then the outside will become clean too.
It had been a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to make the most of it and put several loads of washing on so I could hang them out to dry. However, later that day as I was gathering it in, I realised something was not quite right…something just didn’t smell right. More to the point, the washing itself really did not smell right, in fact it smelt worse than before I had put it in the wash.
Perplexed, I decided to run it through the machine again, taking care to double check I put the washing liquid in (just in case!). I was even more confused when the same thing occurred again. I actually think the smell got worse the second time around! I started to rack my brain trying to think of what may have gone wrong – I had used the same washing liquid I always use, put the machine on the same cycle…what was going on? So, I turned to Google to see if I could find the answer. Imagine my absolute shock when I discovered washing machines require cleaning. Mind blown! I’ve been on this planet nearly 34 years and never once had it occurred to me that I might actually have to wash a washing machine. I guess I’d just kind of assumed that as their sole purpose is to wash things, they would wash themselves in the process. Apparently not.
After reading a few articles, I realised it didn’t matter how beautifully scented the washing liquid I was putting in, without giving the machine a good scrub and getting rid of the dirt that had accumulated within, what came out was never going to be as clean as it could be. So, I gathered together some household cleaning products (who knew there are so many uses for white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda) and an old toothbrush and set to work. On pulling out the washing machine drawer and unscrewing the filter (I didn’t even know washing machines had filters) I discovered just how wrong my assumption had been and the source of the unpleasant odour. Seriously, it was pretty disgusting. Nearly an hour and quite a bit of elbow grease later I finally felt like I could put my clothes in and have them come out better than they had gone in.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I think in some ways I’m like that washing machine (stick with me here). Often, I can tell the state of my heart and spiritual health from what comes out of me…my words, attitude, and actions. More often than I’d like to admit what comes out isn’t quite what I’d like it to be. You see, it doesn’t matter how many great sermons I listen to, how much I read the Bible, or how many worship songs I sing along to, if I’m not putting what I learn into action and allowing it to change me (clean me) from the inside out, then the output will never be any different. Sometimes (often) I need to take stock and clear out some of the rubbish that’s getting in the way of what God may be calling me to do or getting in the way of my relationship with Him. Quite often it’s not comfortable and I don’t always like what I find. I can tell you that cleaning out the washing machine was anything but pleasant, in fact it was downright gross. There were any number of things I would have rather been doing and on more than one occasion I was tempted to slack off and do a half-job, but in the end I was so pleased I didn’t.
The results were well worth the work.