If You Want To See The World Clearly, Clean The Window

 

 

A few thoughts about window cleaning

Nobody likes a dirty window. Windows add beauty and character to a home and allow natural light to shine inside the house. Windows often get dirty and need a good cleaning. My dog Gracie loves to look out the window. I can always tell when she has been surveying the outdoors through the window because she leaves her nose prints behind on the glass. Because my home has many windows, Gracie keeps me busy. Imagine what would happen if you went years without ever cleaning your windows. They would become very dirty and would not be visually appealing. Also, the accumulated dirt and grime would obstruct the light that would otherwise shine into your home.

I remember a teaching analogy and story my mother used to share when I was a kid. Mom told the story of an old lady that stood at her kitchen window everyday doing dishes. As she washed dishes, she looked out and saw her neighbor’s dirty laundry that always hung on the clothes line. The old lady would always say to herself, “That lady next door needs a new washing machine! Those clothes she hangs to dry are always still dirty! Can’t she see those clothes aren’t clean?” 

Every day for years the old woman washed dishes at her sink while grumbling about her neighbor’s dirty laundry. One spring day the woman decided to clean her windows. After thinking about it, she realized she hadn’t cleaned the windows in years. She was busy doing other cleaning projects in her home and added the windows to the project list. So, after completing several other cleaning projects, she cleaned the windows. She started with the window glass on the inside of her home and then cleaned all the glass on the outside.  When the old woman finished cleaning the windows, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She was seeing the outdoors through the window clearer than she had in years! Everything outside looked so much brighter and more colorful. The old woman was very pleased with her nice clean windows.

The next day as she was washing dishes, the old woman got a big surprise! When she looked outside into her neighbor’s yard, she again saw her laundry hanging on the clothes line. This time however, the clothes looked very nice and clean! The old woman thought to herself, “Well it’s about time! That lady next door finally got a new washing machine! I guess she grew tired of dirty clothes!”  Then a thought occurred to her. Suddenly, the old woman realized her mistake. The clothes hanging on the line had never been dirty. The only thing dirty was the window she looked through.

This story is humorous, but it speaks a valuable lesson. Like the old woman, we sometimes need to clean our window. We often look at people, situations, and circumstances around us through a dirty window. The dirty window clouds our perspective and doesn’t allow us to see the truth. The window we occasionally need to clean is the window of our thoughts and attitudes. Many times in life, we become judgmental of a person or situation, not realizing our window is dirty. Before we judge others, cleaning needs to start at home.

 Our thoughts and attitudes are the windows into our souls. The soul of a person involves their feelings, and emotions. The feelings and emotions of a person are dictated by their thoughts and attitudes. All of a person’s thoughts and attitudes begin in their mind. If you allow the window of your mind, thoughts, and attitudes to become grimy, you will not see things clearly. I once heard a quote that said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” You will always see the world around you through the filter of your window (attitudes and thoughts).  It is for this reason it is important to keep your window clean. The Apostle Paul said, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

When you keep your window clean, the light of God’s word can penetrate your heart much easier. Cleaning a window can be a challenge. Have you ever cleaned a window early in the morning, only to later in the afternoon discovered streaks you missed? If you clean a window before light is shining into it, you will not see all the smudges. The light illuminates all the fingerprints, dirt, and smudges. Without sunlight crashing through, seeing what needs to be cleaned is difficult. The same holds true in life. If we don’t allow the light of God’s word to crash into our life and situation, we can’t see our own sins, smudges, and mistakes. If we allow God to shine into our lives, he will show us through his spirit what needs to be cleaned up. The good news is we won’t even have to do the work. We just have to recognize the smudges and allow him to wipe them away through his forgiveness and grace. Trust me; God is great at cleaning windows.    

A clean window allows you to discover who you are in Christ. You discover what his plan is for your life. The light of God’s word will enlighten you and give you understanding of many things. Until you can see things as they actually are, you will never become who God called you to be. We won’t always understand everything. Painful times in life often have no explanation. One day when we get to Heaven and see Jesus, we will see everything clearly. Everything we couldn’t understand in life will be explained. Then we will never need to clean our window again. Until then, it would behoove us to keep our window as clean as possible. Don’t allow a dirty window to mislead you and prevent you from seeing the truth. If you want to become everything God created you to be, keep your window clean.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

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