Today is the clean up. Yesterday was the party. Spiritual life lessons are everywhere, even in dirty nacho trays. What is the lesson?
Nobody likes the clean up. Our house is a wreck. The sink is overflowing. I have fifty gallon bags full of plates, cups and water bottles. The dog ripped them open last night, so the yard is full too. I don’t want to even go into the basement, but it’s all good. It means that we had a party. It means that my son graduated and a milestone was achieved. It means that we celebrated. It means that we have a lot of family and friends that love us. Clean up…that’s okay. We had a party. I don’t want the alternative.
Parties are messy. Life can be messy too. The spiritual life can be full of debris, but that doesn’t mean that we skip the party.
A skinned knee means that you learned to ride a bike.
A bruised ego means that you had the courage to try something beyond your comfort zone.
A black eye means that you got into the octagon and competed.
A sink full of dirty dishes means that you enjoyed the blessing of a great meal.
A grass stain on your jeans means that you played.
A broken heart means that you loved.
A convicted conscious means that you were sensitive to God’s Word.
A feeling of rejection means that you cared enough to share the gospel.
A duty to disciple means that someone believed the gospel.
A need for faith means that God is growing you.
A burden to pray means that the kingdom needs you.
A hard choice means that you chose to obey.
Some of the greatest things in life can leave scars or create more work. It’s the nature of life. What matters isn’t the scar but the adventure lived while earning it. What matters isn’t the clean up, it’s a life worth celebrating.
I love 2 Corinthians 6:3-10:
” We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”
Paul says he and his ministry team have lived for Christ. It has led to hardship and blessing, but ultimately it is all good because it means that he has been faithful to God’s call on his life. Paul could have lamented all the trouble that he had to endure in his spiritual life, but he saw it as a badge of honor. Those hardships meant something else. They declared that he was willing to obey God, share the gospel, serve people, and sacrifice for others.
Look again at some of the things you face in your life. Sometimes the big mess just means that you had a great party.