Cleaning the kitchen in my house is routine. I cook dinner for my family almost every night and eating out is not a big line item in our budget. My Japanese rice cooker is one of my favorite appliances for a quick and easy add to dinner. We like Basmati, Jasmine, long grain brown and even sticky brown rice. On occasion we throw in some white rice for a Mexican variety or pilaf. Most of the time, much like my salads, I add a little twist to give it a different flavor. Much to my disgust one morning this week, I noticed the steam holes had gunk stuck in them. I poked at them for several minutes as I like to think I am mostly Mrs. Clean. I was not going to settle for unwanted treasures in my valuable possession. After prodding, poking and then tugging a bit, the metal inside pan popped out! It had never done that before. Who knew? After three or 4 years of partnering with my favorite appliance, I learned the metal pan on the inside pops out and to my chagrin, there was nasty stuff built up from the years of use, under the metal plate! I was horrified. After inspecting the metal plate more closely, I noticed there was Japanese writing with little arrows pointing to the clips that were previously holding it in place. It dawned on me that this entire time, there were directions on cleaning this beauty and I had completely overlooked them because they weren’t in English. An oversight? Oh yes, but how could I know?
A crazy thought totally and quickly came to mind. In my life, where do I have gunk, even when I pride myself in trying to do the right thing or keeping myself cleaned up, where I just have ignored the instructions? Maybe it is an innocent ignorance like with the rice cooker. Maybe no one has demonstrated for me or shown me before. By chance, it just got so bad I couldn’t help but explore further. I don’t really have a strong conclusion to this little story but I really hope I am willing to pay attention and ask God to show me more clearly where I have gunk built up and how to remedy it in my life, in my attitude and with my friends. Maintaining our lives by God’s instruction book is so much easier than and a whole lot less embarrassing than pulling out the big gunky mess after a long time of build up.