As most of you know, our home is in Andalusia, but I have an apartment in Pensacola. I have been living in my apartment for over three years. In the apartment I have a tub-shower. There has been a buildup of something in the tub that has stained it and I have used every kind of cleaner that I could find to remove the crud, including filling the tub with water and pouring in a good amount of bleach. Nothing has worked.
Last week I had an idea. I remembered how, when I wash my car, I clean the tires with my favorite tire cleaner. This stuff is good! You can spray it on your tires and see the dirt and grime just run off the tires. I decided I would try that on my tub scum.
I have one of those electric brushes that fits on a wand. It has three different brushes; good for all types of cleaning. I gave my tub a good spraying, let it soak for a few minutes, and then went to work with my Spin Scrubber (brushes!). I couldn’t believe my eyes! Between the tire cleaner and the brushes, it came off and now I have a great looking, clean looking, shower! Now, since I used tire cleaner, when I go take a shower I tell my wife I’m going to take my shower for a spin!
Later I thought how great it would be to be able to cleanse our soul in a similar fashion. I then realized we can. We cleanse our soul through prayer. Not just any prayer but a prayer of confession and repentance. Too often we pray a general prayer and just ask God to forgive us for our sins. The problem with that prayer is we don’t even think of where or how we have sinned that day. I don’t think it is as important for God to hear us confess our sins as it is for us to hear us confess our sins. God already knows, but without confession we really don’t take ownership in where we have failed. We need to hear ourselves confess to our sins of thought, word, and deed. That is the only way we are going to own what we have done, left undone, thought, or felt.
Next, there is a time of repentance. Do I really regret the sins I have committed? Am I ready and willing to repent and go in a different direction with my thoughts, words, and deeds? This kind of praying is serious business. We own our sins and name them (confess) and then we change directions (repentance). Sometimes, I don’t find it easy. Sometimes I want to justify what I did, thought, or said. But there is no justifying sin before God. This kind of praying is like putting tire cleaner on a dirty, stained, tub. Sometimes we are dirty and stained and God is the only one that can cleanse us.
Today, my tub is clean, my tires are clean, and I am clean. I feel like taking a spin. May we all find this cleansing experience. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with a dirty tub, but I do know what to do with a stained soul.
I will be at Blue Lake all this week for Spiritual Leadership Training. I will return to Pensacola next weekend. I am thankful for each of you and the work we do together in the Pensacola District in the building of God’s Kingdom. God bless each of you in your work and your cleaning!
Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent