Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV
What can pool maintenance teach us about spiritual maintenance?
Each Spring we set up our 3 1/2-foot deep, 16’ x 10’ pool in our backyard. The pool is enjoyable but takes daily and weekly maintenance to make sure algae and bacteria don’t grow and take over.
Daily I make sure there is a steady amount of chlorine in the water. I do this by adding a chlorine tablet to the chlorine dispenser that is attached to the pool. As the water flows over it, it slowly dissolves and releases a steady amount of chlorine into the water. Each night I have the filter run for a good twelve hours.
In East Tennessee we have random late afternoon storms that quickly blow through. Having large trees surround the backyard and pool, leaves and debris often fall into the water. Multiple times a week my wife gets the skimmer net and goes over the surface of the pool to remove the bugs, leaves, and debris that falls into the water and sits on the surface.
Finally, each weekend, I put our robot vacuum in the pool and let it do its thing. It runs for a couple of hours running across the floor and climbing the walls doing a thorough job of cleaning up all the debris and junk that sinks to the lining. I add pool shock to give it an extra boost and help the chlorine do its job. If we have used the pool a lot, it will get cloudy from the sunscreen washing off into the water, so I put a clarifier in to help clear up the water. Last, I take out the filter and rinse it off or change it out if we have used it for multiple weeks.
Just like our pool, our Spiritual lives need daily, weekly and weekend maintenance. Reading my bible, reading a devotion, and praying daily makes sure I maintain a steady amount of spiritual chlorine. It helps to keep negative thoughts away and allows for God’s Word to wash through me. These things help to filter out all the crud that builds up during the day.
Throughout the week we interact with people who are challenging and affect our spiritual demeanor. There’s that co-worker you want to give a piece of your mind to, or someone who cuts you off in traffic, but right as you’re lifting your hand to show them they’re number one, you remember the church magnet stuck to the back of your car and you refrain. Or maybe a spiritual storm blows through and dumps an extra amount of debris. We need the Word, prayer with a trusted friend and sometimes an extra episode of that podcast that always encourages us and helps us to skim all that junk settling on our spirit.
Each weekend we need to try to go to church. It’s the perfect opportunity to get spiritually vacuumed, a good shock treatment, a filter rinse or change, and a clarifier to help us see things clearly.
Now, I understand, many of you may have a job that keeps you from going to church every weekend, believe me, I get it. I had a job that required me to work two Sundays a month; I know how difficult that can be. In today’s times, we have so many options available to us when we aren’t able to make it to a Sunday service. If your church records their sermons, take the time to sit and watch, or listen to a good podcast. If these options aren’t available, reach out to a friend to pray with or read an extra chapter when doing your Bible reading.
I must be honest, sometimes, mentally, I have gotten nothing out of reading my Bible or going to church. Sometimes it felt like I was just going through the motions, but I know the Word goes into my spirit and it will return good fruit at the right time.
So, as you are going through your week and taking care of the things that need to be done, don’t forget to spend some time and do some spiritual maintenance. Let’s be diligent in taking care of our spiritual lives.