I have a Nafco vinyl tile floor in my kitchen. It is about seven years old. I chose it because it looked a lot like ceramic tile (even has beveled edges to simulate grout lines) but it isn't as cold and hard as ceramic tile (nor as hard to get rid of when I get tired of it). The pattern is mostly grey, brown and white, with a little blue-green mixed in. Over the years I have used Mop-N-Glo to clean it and over the years the M&G has built up. It wasn't anything we really noticed at first but lately we've noticed how bad the floor looked and I'd even started thinking about replacing it--though I was disappointed it didn't last longer--while it cost less than ceramic tile, it was expensive for vinyl. Well, I don't know what came into my husband but he started to scrape one of the tiles, and found the real look under all that crud. We decided to try stripping the floor and so after a trip to the hardware store for stripped, that's what we spent most of Saturday doing. It took two bottles to finish the job, and while our kitchen isn't small, it isn't huge either. It was hard work, but after all that work, my floor looked new again (unless you count the gouges where the light fixture fell).
I dont' know why, but I started thinking about this in relation to the spiritual life. Stuff, even stuff that looks nice originally (like M&G) can gradually dull our soul until one day we realize just how bad it really looks. It doesn't have to be big stuff--it wasn't any one big spill that messed up my floor--enough of the little stuff left to build up can make a real mess. Luckily a good scrubbing (Sacrament of Reconciliation) can make us good as new. I know that's not a completely accurate analogy--minor sins are forgiven at mass so they don't build up like the gnk on the floor -- but I do find the sacrament helpful in focusing my efforts to get rid of certain sins -but like stripping the kitchen floor, I don't find it enjoyable.