Ironing is one of my least-favorite household chores. Not that it’s hard, or needs extra energy to tackle. It’s just plain boring. My ironing board is set up in front of a blank wall for easy access to an outlet, and to keep it out of the way. It’s in the least appealing part of my art/sewing/whatever room. It’s easy to ignore, because I can always find more pressing things to do than iron (pun intended).
Despite the claims of “easy care” labels, ironing is still needed on a regular basis. There comes a point when the accumulation of rumpled items (or shortfalls in my wardrobe) demands my attention. I womanfully (is that a word?) buckle down, do the job, and feel virtuous for a least half an hour. The guilt of bypassing the chore so many times is relieved, but the feeling won’t last. There will be more creases — and soon.
I’m reminded how easy it is for me to avoid dealing with my wrinkles. (I’m talking about the interior ones — can’t do much about those creases in the complexion). Ideally, the more wrinkled I become on the exterior, the smoother and more vibrant I should be on the inside. Isn’t that what maturity should bring: a smoothing out of my attitude, wiser priorities, an unruffled spirit? Shouldn’t I be attending to my spiritual ironing before things pile up?
The points God seems to be underlining for me are these:
- I can put the things I know need attention out of my sight, but they’re not out of God’s.
- Conversely, I can wring my hands so much at my rumpled spiritual condition that I give up in despair instead of letting God help me tackle things one wrinkle at a time.
- I can choose to iron only those things that make me look or feel better. God wants me to work on the things that will make me be better.
- Delaying the process ensures it will take longer.
- I may have an urgent need for the very thing I have put off giving attention to — things like patience, gentleness, love and self-control.
- I’ll never get to the end of the ironing task until I breathe my last. I’ll always need to keeping on pressing. If I make it a discipline to check my wrinkles regularly and work on them as they appear, all the other things I do will go more smoothly.
- I need to be plugged in to the Holy Spirit, and the heat needs to be on for the ironing process to work. I need to put myself close enough to the power source for this to happen.
- I shouldn’t wait for God to hold a sign up in front of me; I need to open the door of my heart and take a good look at what is in there. My responsibility is to live up to what I’ve already attained through His grace.
Not that I have already attained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)
Father, please help me to keep ironing — to press on to take hold of all Your purposes for me. I ask it in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.