Spring is here. How can I tell? Besides what the calendar tells me, there are other telltale signs. As of late, on some days, the pollen count has been extremely high. How do I know? Well, my nose has revealed this to me.
Another clue: Looking out the window at the bird feeder, the goldfinches are shedding their winter coats. Their increasing bright yellow color is a welcome sight.
Then there is the innate urge to clean house after a long winter. So, a few days back, I began thoroughly cleaning a couple of rooms. This involved vacuuming, dusting, rearranging some things, discarding others, and getting rid of cobwebs.
Dealing with cobwebs can be quite deceiving. Initially, it may look like a simple process. However, every time I begin, a closer look reveals that more work is to be done.
Such small webbing can be a real challenge to see especially if lighting is limited. I always end up inspecting my work from different angles. Hopefully, by doing so, the webs I missed will then be revealed. However, I suspect that I never get them all.
In my religious tradition, during worship on most Sundays, there is an opportunity for confession. What is this? I confess to God the things that I have fallen short on. I am mindful of these things. I can identify them.
I also uplift to God my shortcomings that are “unknown,” to which I am blind. I believe that God forgives me for these things as well.
I don’t view this process as “beating up on myself.” It is simply an admission that I am imperfect and human and I ask for forgiveness of these things. Then I do what I can, to the best of my ability, to make corrections.
It is also my prayer to God – who sees the cobwebs in me that I myself am blind to – that they may be cleaned up as well. Perhaps they will be revealed to me and I can begin to deal with them, or not.
I am thankful that God seemingly never tires of dealing with my cobwebs, even those in far-reaching, dimly lit corners.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.