Revelations from Buffing the Floor

(submitted for St. Paul UMC September 2012 Newsletter)
“Mom, why do you buff the floors every day? I think there’s something wrong with you”. This is what my middle son jokingly told me one cleaning day.

You see, as a “seasoned” stay-at-home mom, I have become quite efficient when it comes to cleaning our home, to a point that I buff the floor almost every day. My children would probably argue that it's not efficiency; rather more like OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). They termed my OCD tendencies “Monk-ing” taken from the TV show “Monk” about an obsessive compulsive detective. Anyway, my children often say: “Mom is Monk-ing again”.

My choice of a dark cherry wood flooring for our home didn't help my OCD tendencies. The floor looks beautiful when it is clean and buffed. Unfortunately, every little dust and most specially foot marks, become very visible and they bug me to a point that I sometimes end up all upset at my family (confession time) if they fail to put slippers on and leave foot marks on our newly buffed floor.

So as I buffed the floor, I pondered what my son told me. Could there really be something wrong with me? I think I do have borderline OCD (ok sometimes it seems more like full blown OCD:). There may be some truth to what my son said: I must be getting some type of enjoyment from buffing the floor to be doing it that much. Then the answer stared right at me as I buffed away (one of those aha! moments). Because I also love to reflect, meditate, and pray so much, floor buffing allows me that extra time! And then I realized that I do the same thing when I take a shower, fold laundry, wash dishes, or vacuum - anytime I'm doing something that sort of frees my mind to reflect, meditate, and pray. I call these action prayers....prayers while in “action”.

Then there are those prayers I term my resting/waiting prayers: those graceful moments taken while I'm resting (i.e. tea/coffee time, or when I can't sleep, or during my quiet time) and while I'm waiting (i.e. at the doctor's office, or waiting for Isabella at dance, or just about anytime I'm waiting). So, basically, I have been blessed with a very reflective personality and that, by the grace of God, I am able to use any available time in getting to know HIM more intimately. So now every time I see dust or foot marks on our floor, instead of getting all upset, I remind myself that it is another great opportunity to “meet” with God. And so I blissfully buff away, all to the glory of God.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters.
 - Colossians 3:23

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