Yeah. That line surprised me too. Let me explain…
My kids don’t like to clean, very few people do. I tell them every day to clean their rooms, and every day they tell me they are all clean. When I check, the rooms look pretty good…and then I look under the bed, or in the closet, or behind the door. The big things are gone, but there are a lot of little things left to do that have “conveniently” been left undone. They nervously laugh when I point it out (or they cry), but they can’t do the things they want to do until it the job is finished.
In the Anglican tradition, there is a formal time for public and private confession before the Eucharist, or Communion. It goes something like this:
“Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.”- BCP
I got through the public confession fine. It was during the private confession that I broke down and then laughed. It wasn’t an unrepentant laugh. And no, I am not going to drop any bombshells here…it was the most repentant laugh I have ever had.
Through my tears, I realized that I often confess wrongly. I have all these big things I think I am supposed to be sorry for or resisting; but its the little things that often drag me down into the mire. They sneak in, and sneak out and I am none the wiser. Then, I am facing down this haughty or prideful attitude and wondering how that built up so quickly. It didn’t, it grew over time and took a lot of watering.
So when you find yourself in the middle of prayer and you can’t seem to get anywhere. It may not be the big things keeping you from connecting with the Creator of All. He just may be pointing out the big pile you left building up in the corner.