Recently, one of our newer church members gave me a present. It is a little sign in a clear plastic holder that says, "Life is . . . messy." When the church member gave it to me, she said she had given one to the pastor at her last church and she hoped it made sense to me. I told her it did. Life is messy! If your life has yet to be messy - just wait. It's coming.
When I was younger, I envisioned life as being a pretty smooth process in which things just got better and better. I thought that by the time I reached the age I am now, I would have it all figured out. Life would be a "piece of cake." Maybe your life has always been a piece of cake - good for you. But for the rest of us, we sooner or later have to deal with the messiness of life. Plans do not turn out the way we thought they would. Life situations just happen. Some of them we can control and others are beyond our control. Life is messy.
Sometimes I find it amazing that God chose to enter into this messy world to start cleaning things up. One way to talk about the messiness of the world is to call it "sin" or "brokenness." That messiness can be seen in the ways we fall short of loving our neighbor and God as we do ourselves. Sometimes the mess comes from not loving ourselves in a healthy way -- as opposed to an unhealthy narcissism.
Now what we call "messiness" may simply be the parts of life we can't control. And that may not be "bad" - that's only being human. As human beings, God gave us some "normal" limits.
The good news is that God did not look at us and our world and say, "What a mess - I'm outta here!" The Bible says that "while we were yet sinners" (messes), the God who created us, saw the good in us and reached out in love to help fix the broken messes in our lives and our world. Life may be a mess, but that is not the last word - thank God for that!
Prayer for Today
Gracious God, you enter into the messes of our lives and show us what needs to be cleaned up and straightened out. You also help us to see what may not be mess at all - just something beyond our control. Thank you for cleaning up the mess and for helping us to accept the rest. In the strong name of Christ we pray. Amen.