By Dani R. : 1 November 2012
Walking in—late, naturally—to work one morning, my boss looks at me despairingly as I hurry to sit down at my workplace. Papers scattered all over my desk, old candy wrappers, chemistry homework that was due yesterday, and for some reason even rain boots from last week’s storm were strewn in a careless heap all around my work space.
Being the obsessive-compulsive organized type that she is, I could already tell by her face she’s had enough and then tells me she has an editorial for me. “How is cleanliness next to Godliness?” she says with her eyebrow raised. I giggle and proceed to turn on my computer when really, I could not have thought of a worse topic to write about myself.
Staring at a blindingly white Word document, I consider the matter of cleanliness and think, “I’m so clean I’m practically godly, I’m just a little disorganized.” Granted, my clothes are scattered all over my side of the closet and Taylor’s side too, but they are most definitely clean and freshly laundered.
Then I begin to remember the many lessons I have been exposed to that explain why cleanliness is, in fact, next to godliness. From the little children’s books about washing your hands after using the potty to the Gospel of John when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to the AA Big Book about “cleaning house,” I realized the real concept of purity. Without it, you cannot be clean enough to acquire anything close to a Higher Power—which is absolutely perfect in nature.
I finally realized I must be clean and pure inside before my environment could be neat and organized. All the clutter in my mind seemed to manifest itself through the junk scattered around on my desk and in the dorm. It turns out that I had to clear my mind before I could clear the clutter. When I did that, everything was simplified. All I can do is strive to become cleaner in body, mind, and spirit—a day at a time (and pick up after myself while I’m at it.)