It is a short ride from the Taj hotel to the office. Along the main street I see a lady sweeping the sidewalk in front of a particular store every morning. There is no question of commitment and focus. Her bent back is rightly wound as if she is making the athletic move you see in baseball, golf, and squash. The unique long stick-brush is a tightly bound at the top. In her hands the dust is flying. As I look behind her, while the larger pieces are gone, the fine filter of dust slowly settles back to where it was. Nothing changes.
Last night I went to bed watching the lighting flash and listening to the loud thunder booms. It was a great monsoon storm! In the security of my hotel room, I enjoyed the show, driving off without any thought as to what would be different tomorrow.
As I rode in the car to the office, I looked for my sweeper lady. I wondered why color her sari would be today. As we approached the shop, she was nowhere to be seen. There was no need today. The monsoon storm had been hard at work overnight. The big stuff had been blown away. The dust had been washed and the stone sidewalk scrubbed. The front of the shop was pristine! Everything was fresh, from the sky to the air to the sidewalk.
As I considered the things in my life I keep trying to clean, I found myself wondering about my role. Was I simply another version of the shop sweeper? Was there an alternative that might make my efforts easier and more effective?
David left me one of his prayer notes; “Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work; then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.” (Psalm 19.13) He seemed to have faced a similar question. I do not recall being this candid with God. It is an interesting alternative.