I noticed the first one the moment I stepped through the front gate. He was on a ladder, scrubbing away where the roof met the wall. I waved at him as I passed by and almost tripped over the second one; he was on all fours in the parking lot, scrubbing the tiles. I smiled, said a quick apology and continued walking towards the office. The third one had a water-pipe in his hand aimed at the western wall, I side-stepped him and skipped and hopped in an attempt to avoid the splashing water.
By now I had noticed that today was a special day at our Church. I was used to seeing the care-taker and his assistants cleaning the place; but today seemed to be a special cleaning day at the chapel. Spring cleaning, I suspected, from the look of things. I continued my trip towards the reception, greeted Maureen, the receptionist and made my way up the stairs and into the youth office. I needed to finish some work on my laptop, and I guess that’s all that was on my mind from the time I stepped into the Chapel compound and headed for the offices.
That’s why it never really hit me until much, much later. Not even when the fourth cleaning guy came into the office and asked me for permission to clean the window behind me. I asked him how long it would take and he told me, not more than five minutes. It was supposed to hit me then, but it didn’t. Actually it hit me today, more than 12 hours later. It hit me just a few minutes before I started writing this article. The Chapel was being cleaned! Yeah, that’s what just hit me.
I know you may be wondering, “So? I thought the chapel gets cleaned more than once every week!” I know. That’s true. But what made this particular experience worth penning is the fact that, just a week ago, we’d studied 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 in our BS group. Paul tells the Corinthians;
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and God’s spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
He goes further on to tackle an issue of sexual purity by using the same analogy in 1 Corinthians 6:15;
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!”
This second point is what got my attention. Well, I asked myself a simple question. If my body was a temple, (or Chapel in this case), what would be my role in the chapel? You know, it’s so easy to assume the role of the pastor, because we tend to associate pastors with “owning” the church or “leading” it. But come to think of it, Christ is the owner and leader of this Chapel, so Pastor is out. Perhaps I may be an elder of the Church. I have been with this body ever since it was born, literally. So, who better to know what is best for it than its oldest member? But then I remembered, even though I have grown old with this body, I doubt I have grown up at the same rate. My wisdom feels too wanting to be an elder; I will leave that role to the Holy Spirit.
Hmmm… What options am I left with now? Well, let’s see. I could become an usher, welcoming visitors and old members into the church… but then I realized that I haven’t been doing a good job at that recently. I have allowed things and “people” into this temple that were not good for me. I have also not been too kind on sinners seeking God’s grace. I make a useless usher.
I could be part of the congregation; the audience. All I have to do is sit down, shut up and speak only when am spoken to and stand up when am told to. That could work, but it seemed to contradict with so many things in Christianity. The bible scribe James speaks on end about in-active faith and fake religion. Being the “congregation” is definitely not my role.
So, what’s left? I could be the church treasurer. But that seemed too far from the sanctuary, I needed to maintain close contact with my Father. Plus, I have proven far too many times that me and money do not make the best couple. I will stick to filling the collection bag, not emptying it.
If you have read the title of this article (note), I guess you know what I eventually settled for. That’s right. I fit best as the cleaning guy; why? Because that is what God has called me to be. What do I mean? Well, before I explain, I’d like you to make a mental note. The next time you come across your Church’s cleaning guy, smile at him and greet him because he is the one person that holds the closest job to yours in that compound.
God seems to be so fussy on purity, especially regarding our bodies. He stresses countless times on keeping this body clean, in-check, pure, holy. The bible is filled with all sorts of soaps and detergents that are appropriate for every stain that may corrupt your body, His temple. There’s a detergent for your mind (Romans 12:1-12), A soap for your mouth (James 3:6 ), Some shampoo for your head (Psalm 23:5). A scrubber for the soles of your feet (Psalm 119:105) and countless detergents for your heart, His sanctuary.
We are called to obedience and contentment in Him. You know, God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him. And the greatest glorification you can give God is achieved by first cleaning His home, your heart. You are the janitor in God’s house. You should always make sure you dust his desk; your mind. Edit His sermon outlines; your hands and feet. Trim His compound; your circle of friends. Clean His windows; watch what you watch. And of course, make sure there are no bugs in the speakers and no unnecessary noises; your mouth.
Your body is God’s Temple. You are His Janitor. When is the last time you cleaned His house? Stop sleeping on the job, or you’ll find yourself slipping out of heaven.