Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
After a busy Easter weekend, I’m spending the morning at home today while a group of trained technicians cleans the duct work in my house. Even for a relatively tidy person (like I aspire to be), duct cleaning isn’t exactly the kind of thing I’d do every day (or every week…or month…or year…or…well, you get the point). After all, “dusty ducts” don’t exactly confront you in the same way that other, more visible kinds of clutter do.
And yet, just because you can’t see the dirt doesn’t mean it isn’t there. As the purveyors of duct-cleaning services are more than happy to point out, dirty ducts can be the perfect place for all kinds of allergens to accumulate. And clogged ducts can hamper the efficiency of a home’s heating and cooling system, resulting in higher utility bills and greater wear-and-tear on the equipment.
So as I’m sitting here and feeling good about the fact that these “hidden pathways” in my home’s infrastructure are going to be clean, I do have to ask myself: How often do I give similar attention to the “hidden pathways” of my soul? After all, even though the dirt that resides in the hidden recesses of the heart may not confront me in the same way that other, more obvious sins do, I have little doubt that the accumulated detritus of daily living allows all kinds of unhealthy things to build up. And who knows how much harder God has to work to get my attention and/or use me when the channels that allow His Spirit to flow through me are clogged?
The writer of Psalm 19 said: “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults” (v. 12). Father, please search our hearts and help us to have “a hidden clean;” so that – in all things – we can honor You and do Your will.