It has been as hot as blue blazes in our neck of the woods lately. Simmering, sultry days and thick-aired, breezeless nights. So last week when the city came and cleaned out the fire hydrants, it drew a crowd.
Young children were splashing through the puddles. Dogs on leashes were barking to be free and join in the fun. The sun sparkled through the arc of water and added some serendipity to an otherwise heat-oppressed day.
The air felt lighter afterwards. It made for a good day.
Still, I had to question why this needs to be done – but I know that things can get out of good working order when they are not often used. I suppose that, in the hydrant, rust can gather, and sediments can collect, and the water can get stale and musty. And it is important to know that the hydrant will work well when it is needed. Plus the unexpected exuberance it brought was a real treat.
Knowing this makes me wonder about myself. What kinds of cleaning out does my heart need?
Am I “rusty” in the area of thinking of others? Do I have “sediments” of envy or laziness weighing me down? Is my outlook on the joyful everydayness of life becoming “stale and musty”? I want to be a person others can count on to “work well” when they need me. And I think that the shedding of some of these bad habits would add some deep-seated cheerfulness to my soul.
I am asking God to help me lighten the load I tend to carry around with me, which often accumulates without me even thinking about or acknowledging it. This will bring some freshness and cleanliness into my life, and paying it forward, into the lives of others.
I will feel lighter afterwards. It will make for some very good days.