BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 21 January 2005

Spring has come early in the Denney household.  Spring cleaning that is.  My wife, the light of my life, has been at it for the last fortnight.  The works.  Cupboards turned out; the oven dismantled; boxes of unwanted items put out for the charity shops; gallons of cleaning sprays; dusters by the acre.  The full Monty.  The cat hides away in a corner to stop being hoovered.  My contribution in this enterprise is limited: nipping to the shops for more cleaning supplies, keeping well out of the way, and generally concurring that men are totally useless when it comes to this sort of thing.  Oh, and to grit my teeth about the six carrier bags full of my beloved books that have “got to go”.  I think I’ll try and hide them in the garage.


However, I have to admit that where my wife has cleaned and scrubbed, you can certainly see the difference.  Things look as good as new.  All her efforts have been worthwhile.


It’s at the beginning of the year that lots of people try to spring clean their lives.  Did you start a diet after New Year’s Day?  Have you been detoxing?  Or maybe you decided to give up smoking, or take up exercise, or cut back on your drinking, or chocolate, or cakes.  How many of us started the year with good intentions!  How difficult it is to keep the promises you made to yourself!


There’s another aspect of “you”, though.  It concerns your thoughts and your attitudes, your mind and your heart.  Is there a broken relationship in your life that needs restoring?  Have your attitudes been called into question by someone who knows you well?  Is there a secret “something” in your life that you’re ashamed of?


One of the great themes of the Bible is that we all need to repent.  Repentance is thinking again, turning away from bad things towards good things.  It’s a sort of spring-cleaning of our hearts and minds.  Saint Paul put it like this:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious--the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.[1]


Now what does it say on my shopping list?  Orange oil degreasing spray.  Orange?  Degreaser?  Orange?


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[1] Philippians 4:8 (MSG)