Stepping on Blocks

by Stephanie Winslow, Christian Examiner Contributor |
Photo: D. Sharon Pruitt/Wikimedia Commons

There is little pain like the pain felt from stepping on a plastic building block. The small size and sharp edges make it prime for hiding between the carpet strands, hidden away, like it is awaiting the perfect opportunity to injure the parent's foot. It amazes me though how kids have a superhuman power – the ability to avoid stepping on the blocks dumped with fine precision in the middle of the floor.

As adults we sometimes practice this same behavior on a broader scale. Adult blocks look like little idols that have crept in overtime and stolen our heart away from the heart of God. For some it may be the pursuit of status. Others, it may be the need to feel accepted at any cost. Still yet, it may be false sense of comfort from food, shopping, credentials, money, fancy coffee, relationships, etc. Then, once the mess is made, we run supercharged for the next shiny object. We become so distracted tiptoeing about from idol to idol. So distracted in fact, we are unaware of the mess of tiny idols we have allowed to sneak in.

We moan and groan about the constant messes the kids make. Many of them we end up cleaning up ourselves because let's face it – we grow weary of repeating the same messages that fall on deaf ears.

The question is, do we expect God to moan and groan about the messes we have gotten ourselves into because we thought something else was more important than our relationship with him?

Do we expect God to act as our parent, lose his patience and clean the mess up for us?

Or do we expect him to teach us what cleanliness looks like?

Deuteronomy 23:12-15 says, "Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."

Yep, the Bible really talks about relieving yourself! And, Yes! God does teach us what cleanliness looks like on a practical and spiritual level. These verses challenge us to consider if are we cultivating an environment of holiness in our homes, and in our temples (our bodies) where God feels comfortable dwelling. Are we sweeping out the idols we have made? Or are we allowing all kinds of junk to pile up?

Just like God wanted the Israelite's to clean up after themselves, I believe he also wants us to be aware of the clutter, the distractions, the idols and dare I say the crap, we have allowed in our hearts and in our homes. Our lives are a macrocosm for our living rooms covered with building blocks. We serve a God who wants to be with us, present, in our homes and in our bodies. We must see make room for him to "walk through" our homes.

God's role in our lives is not to clean up after us, like a worn down, exasperated parent. He wants to be present with us, to protect and deliver us – but we must make room.

What has taken over the living room floor of your heart? What distracts you from being aware of God's presence, protection and deliverance? What blocks need to go, so God can walk about freely your home and your heart?

 –Stephanie Winslow, Author, Ascent to Hope: The Rugged Climb from Fear to Faith Founder, Blind Spot Consultants