Cleaning up can be truly messy.
It is hard to get rid of old stuff even when it is bad stuff, because of sentimental attachments, because of the false security that comes along with ”we’ve always done it that way”, the pride that accompanies “we will continue this tradition”, even when our consciences may be prompting the admission that our way is not necessarily the right way.
But when the end for anything temporal- material or otherwise – has come, we must let go. Lot’s wife would not. The poor woman’s mind was not looking to precious memories in the future, if indeed there would be any. She was stuck there in grief over what was past – grief in the sense that she wanted her eyes to have one last fling. Poor thing!
“Flee for your life,” the men had told Lot. “Leave all and come”, we used to say at seminary. And Lot understood what that meant.
Down the ages, different people have had to do that, to leave behind everything to save what is most precious, irreplaceable, their own life.
I know someone from Montserrat (Linda who I’m sure does not mind her name being here) who gratefully recalls the day her son literally snatched her out of her house in the nick of time. When she looked back moments later, that house had succumbed to the onslaught of a pyroclastic flow from the erupting Soufrière Hills Volcano. She’s travelled her world offering thanksgiving to God for that spared life.
That kind of sudden end happened to the places in the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their end had come. All along, they had been having their play, doing things their way, believing that they had the last say. They had not anticipated judgement day.
Beautiful cities, these had once been. They were so attractive, those fertile plains, that when Abram allowed Lot to choose, that’s where he chose.
Are we ready always to review our choices so as to ensure that these are in line with the divine purpose for our lives? And if the evidence says, “it’s time to move on, time to give up and go,” are we ready to let go and let God have sway?
O Lord God, fit us for your presence. Make us willing to let go of everything in our lifestyle, in our mindset, that displeases you. May nothing temporal, even what is good, stand between us and you. deliver us from idolatry in all its forms we pray. Amen.