I was given a Lenten book called Simplifying the Soul by Paula Huston. The very first day brings to the forefront what in my home do I pay attention to and what do I neglect. I have noticed I pay attention to two major things. First that my home is ready for guests. Since I see clients and have friends over often I like my home to be at least surface clean and ready for them. The second area I focus on is knowing where things are. I do spend time revamping how I organize because I don't have time to go digging and searching. Plus the older I get the harder it is to remember where I left something! So hospitality and organization are what I pay attention to.
What I neglect are the deep cleaning issues and just little things. The corners in the kitchen where the crumbs and grime are building. My oven hasn't been cleaned in.... I don't remember. The windows are dirty, I could go on and on. As I sit with what I neglect, I think on how it affects the things that are important to me. Hospitality and organization. The little things add up.
This had me thinking about what is hidden and what is surface in my spiritual life. I was recently listening to someone speak on congruency. How what is going on inside really does seep through on the outside even when we try our best to disguise it. If we say we agree because getting along with others is important to us but we really don't agree, that incongruence comes through.
An invitation to a spiritual practice this Lenten season might be to notice the neglected pieces of life and why. Paying attention to what has been ignored is a deepening practice. The gift of this time will be discovering gems and freedom by shining a light on the dark corners waiting to be seen. Once the neglected places receive attention their light will shine through.