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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Deep Cleaning
Date Posted: July 31, 2008

The cleaning at our church is done on a volunteer basis and divided into three sectors. As I was looking at the sign-up sheet last week I noticed that the sector which includes the basement youth room is always the last to fill up. This is actually the sector I always choose because it brings back good memories for me of working with the kids and it is more picking up than actual cleaning.

However, I have been frustrated sometimes when I go in to do the weekly cleaning and nothing has been picked up. This area is mostly used by the teens, who should be old enough and responsible enough to put away their "toys". I have found tape balls (hard balls made up wadded-up duct tape), ping-pong balls, playing cards and pool cues scattered in various places as well as empty chip bags and used paper cups that never made it to the trash can.

As annoying as this was at the time, upon reflection I thought of the many kids who are coming to know Christ more fully through even mundane experiences like games and sharing snacks. I thought how sad it would be if the room was always in pristine condition because no one wanted to lead or participate in the youth program. What a waste it would be if our church leaders did not place importance on the youth and seeing that they are taught and mentored; or if there was no designated place for them to hang out and feel at home as they grow in the Lord.

After considering those scenarios I felt blessed to be able to clean up after some untidy (and perhaps slightly inconsiderate youths) and I thanked God that my children will have a place to make a mess as they grow closer to him. Besides, what I can provide is only a surface cleaning; what these kids receive while making a mess of the youth room is a deep cleansing of the soul.

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-22

I will be sure that this sector of our church building is always ready and waiting for the Spirit to work through our youth and pray that I continue to be humbled and see what is truly important.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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