College Job Board

  • Randy Karlberg
A Woman in an Apron Cleaning the Window

Back in my college days I was looking for a job that could get me some money from a short-term commitment.  I had a busy schedule, but I could set aside a day and put some hard work in.  As I walked past the school’s Job Board, a posting caught my eye.  Window washing – $200.  Now, I was not too experienced at window washing, but I could learn and I don’t mind heights at all.  As a matter of fact, one of my joys in life was climbing high things.  So, I took the number down and called it.  An elderly woman was looking for someone to wash her windows for her.  I accepted the job and drove to her house on Saturday.  She was a nice woman who knew how windows should be washed.  She gave me a bucket of warm water with just the right combination of water and vinegar.  She gave me a squeegee, and the real secret to streak-free windows, newspaper!  Yes, newspaper was the ticket for getting those annoying streaks off of windows that just seem to smear, change form, and appear in a new spot when the sunlight hits at just the right angle. 

I went to work with my clear mission and instructions.  I started on a ladder at the second story.  Her cleaning method was working very well.  The attentive, yet kind, woman would point out areas to be re-cleaned and give her approval when satisfactory.  Things went really well.  Much to my surprise, she was pleased with the finished product and it only took about half the day.  We were both pleased, and I learned a valuable skill that has come in handy at least once each year. 

I recalled this initial cleaning gig as I was climbing the ladder to the second story of our house a few weeks back.  Not quite as nimble as I used to be, but still anticipating the satisfaction of a clean window, I went to work.   My wife served as the more than capable and enthusiastic mid-clean smudge supervisor.  She was encouraging, as well as very thorough.  We accomplished our task without major incident or spat, ready to enjoy fresh windows this summer.  As I scrubbed and polished those windows, I was struck with a  Biblical principle. I was captivated with the concept of windows being like our lives, specifically our hearts.  Let me explain.  A clean window allows you to enjoy the outdoors without having to endure the elements.  As the weeks and months roll on, but for an ill-timed bird excremental deposit, you continue to experience the benefit of having a clear window in your home.  You don’t really think about the cleanliness of the window, until there is an obvious reason to do so.  Most times the windows in the spring don’t look all that dirty, until you apply the cleaning solution and start wiping.  After that first wipe you look at the cloth (newspaper) and you realize just how dirty and gross those windows had become without regular cleaning through the winter.  That is when you come to the reality of the filth that you have been gazing through all of those months. 

I have come to realize that there are not “static” times in our lives spiritually.  We are either growing closer to our Lord or we are slowly drifting away from Him into our own desires and thoughts.  Filth is gradually adhering to our hearts as we ignore God and pursue our own ways.  It takes a good deal of humility and diligence to come before the Lord and ask for His leading in our lives. Many times, we are clipping along through the months totally unaware of the filth and grime our hearts have collected. 

 I think this is what David was calling out in Psalm 19:12-13, “Who can discern his errors?  Declare me innocent from hidden faults.  Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!  Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”  David is asking God to examine his heart and to protect him from his own sinfulness.  David understood the wickedness of his own heart all too well.  He was dependent on God to keep him from sinning against God and profaning His name.  If we look at the verses leading up to David’s call for spiritual heart washing, we can see what David depends on for guidance in his life.  Psalm 19:7-11, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and dripping of the honeycomb.”  Here David is showing that God’s Word is the standard that keeps one wise, right, pure, clean, and righteous.  And he adds that the value of these is greater than any earthly treasure or physical desire. 

The way to make sure our hearts are clean is to read and study God’s Word so that it becomes our most valued treasure.  We are to genuinely ask God to examine our hearts and show us and lead us in His righteous ways.  We cannot rely on our own vision of our hearts that are shielded from seeing the build-up of filth and grime that accumulates over time.  We get used to the small spots and smudges.  And unless there is a huge sinful deposit dumped on our hearts that cannot be ignored, we tend to continue on as though we are right with God.  It is the slow accumulation of dirt that ruins everything from an engine to relationships, especially relationships with God!

It is this continual time in God’s Word, humility before Him, and desire to be right with God that moves David to the final verse, Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”  This should be our regular prayer to God.  This should be our heartfelt cry to our Lord and Savior as we desire to walk in a way pleasing to Him.  We should live a life without spiritual regret, for we have regularly asked God to reconcile Himself to us by cleansing our sin-stained hearts.  Lord, please scrub me clean and don’t leave any streaks!!

Randy Karlberg