Life As A Dirt Bag
Life As A Dirt Bag
Being called a dirt bag is pretty insulting, but recognizing that it’s true is traumatic! Last week I read this great pun on facebook, “When you clean a vacuum cleaner, you are a vacuum cleaner!” At first I laughed but after pondering a bit, I realized that I’ve sucked up a lot of dirt in my life and most of it was lies. Some told me I was dumb, stupid. but I’m not. I have two college degrees and always did well in school. No I’m not stupid but I’ve always been a bit naive. I never thought I was attractive because I’d been told many times that I had mousy brown, straight, fine hair that was impossible. Late in life. I found someone who knew how to style my type of hair. I’m not homely. But my husband has always thought I was beautiful so I won’t disillusion him. His opinion matters. My poor parents were products of the Great Depression and consequently were pretty tight with money. i felt that my needs were a burden on the family and I wasn’t worth a nickel.
So that’s how my vacuum got filled with dirt. I believed it all and carried that negativity everywhere. It influenced so many of my life choices. Since i believed I wasn’t too smart and I was a financial burden, I never asked how I might go to college and become a teacher; so I entered the convent. At least God wouldn’t reject me.
We are half way through Lent and it’s time to assess our progress. Have I kept my resolutions? Am I praying more, loving more, improving , becoming a better person? That’s the whole purpose of this penitential season. If I’m not changing, then what good are my little acts of penance? If it’s just to go along with everyone else then it’s all worthless. If there hasn’t been an attitude adjustment or a behavioral change that will continue in the future, then it’s all a waste of time and probably not very pleasing to the Lord either. I may even be filling my dirt bag to the explosive level.
It has taken me most of my adult life to realize that I had been sucking up Satan’s lies which only lead to such great depression that I ended up leaving the convent and it’s life style but not leaving My Lord. He is my rock and my strength. Slowly, I came to accept that He loves me despite my dirt. There were times when I tried to eject the dirty little lies of Satan but my dirt bag would explode, dust was everywhere and I couldn’t vacuum it up until I got a new dirt bag. Life is messy! Confession is cleansing.
Now the beauty of Lent is that we get six weeks to examine what we’ve vacuumed up and drag around and decide whether to hang onto it or start anew, seeing myself as God sees me. In Isaiah 43 God says He paid a ransom for me, that I am precious and honored in His eyes and He loves me. All He really wants is for me to love Him back.
So now I try to look for the good He has placed in me and use those things to uplift others. It’s time to take the dirt bag to confession and allow Jesus to take its burden from us. It’s time to rejoice in the creation He has made, love it and let it shine for all to see. It’s not pride, but actually humility to be truthful and honest with ourselves and with God. Lent is nearly over so it’s time to dump the dirt and begin anew; looking forward to our resurrection as a better person than existed six weeks ago.