I’ve been on a search for the holy grail of vacuums. This isn’t a new thing. I’ve been at it for years. Other people travel the world, I buy (and, often return) vacuums.
I guess I am looking for the perfect vacuum that has among its features a desire to actually use it. So far, all I have had is a longing for clean floors. A friend of mine lent me one of those robot vacuums. I figured even I could muster the motivation to try it since it only required me to push a button.
The dog and I suspiciously watched the wayward machine. It was like a mini R2D2 after a night out at the bars. It swayed in one direction and then the other, continuously running into things. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for it. It was trying so hard.
It reminded me of humankind. The way we set off definitively in one direction and then suddenly veer into a different one. We repeat mistakes and sins in the similar way the miniature vacuum kept roaming over the same area when, if it would just move a tad to the left (like I kept telling it too), it would have picked up the orange Dorito crumb that mocked it. I followed the robot urging, directing, and cajoling this blind machine to see what I clearly could, but avoided doing myself.
I guess we are always looking for the shortcut, hack, or magic formula to make life easier. This is often true with our relationship with God. We want to do the minimum: check the box of Sunday mass, grace before meals, and a bedtime prayer. We compartmentalize our faith, so that it doesn’t complicate our messy lives because following God can be as cumbersome as lugging the big vacuum out of the closet.
You know, the one that actually works.
We waste so much energy trying to change our lives, fill our void, and find our purpose when in the depth of our hearts we know that God is the only one who can fulfill these innate desires. I do it too. I keep God at an arm’s length, because it feels too scary to trust him completely. I’m afraid to surrender to him, because I don’t know what he will ask of me. I search for answers in other people’s well-meaning advice instead of seeking him, who knows everything and wants the very best for me. Without God at the helm of our lives we are wandering aimlessly. Maybe eventually we will find that crumb that eludes us, but he wants so much more for us than crumbs.
After watching that poor little robot frantically struggle to find its path, I couldn’t help but think of my own. I went to the closet, pulled out the big vacuum and began the messy work of cleaning up.
Do you find that you often repeat the same patterns in life looking for a solution that’s going to make your life better? That’s a tough question for most of us. So, if you’d rather just comment whether you like those robot vacuums, I completely understand!
Did you miss last week’s post?