Do Your Own Sweeping

Timmy was attempting to get the cereal down from the top shelf. His foot slipped and down came the box and its contents, hundreds of Cheerios went dancing across the shiny kitchen floor.

“Get a broom and clean it up,” said his mother, “I just cleaned that floor. Make sure you get every one off the floor before someone steps on them, or there will be a bigger mess.” Sighing, his mother said to herself the haggard mother’s plea, “Why me, Lord!”

Unaware this had all taken place, I walked into the kitchen. Crunch! Smash! Squish! I felt as if I were in a Cheerio minefield. Just about that time Timmy emerged with broom and dust pan in hand. Still hopping around the kitchen, Timmy said, “Some mess, huh Dad?” Before I could answer, surely thinking, “Here’s ole Dad, an easy mark,” he stuck the broom in my hand and said with confidence, “I’ll hold the pan and you sweep ‘em in Dad!”

Growing up I was often told, “Learn to pull your own chestnuts out of the fire.” I suppose a modern day saying of that would be, “Do your own sweeping!” Regardless, whether we are talking about pulling chestnuts out of a fire or sweeping up Cheerios from the floor, the idea is the same. It isn’t good for someone else to do what we should be doing.

CONSIDER that often this is the way we approach the Lord in praying. We stick the broom in His hand and say, “Sweep ‘em up, Lord.” And back comes the broom with this answer to our prayers, “You do the sweeping.” It isn’t that the Lord is above this or that, or that there are certain things he just won’t do for us. NO! He knows that doing our own sweeping is the way we learn and grow. If he intervenes and miraculously rescues us from our “messes” of life, then we will have learned nothing from them nor will we have grown so that we can better face the next time life gives us hundreds of Cheerios scattered on a just-cleaned floor.

Rev. Wendell Mettey
Revised 4/16/2014

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