I have had a message on my heart for weeks. Actually, I think it has been there for months. I’ve wanted to share it with you, with others, but I’ve struggled to adequately put it into words. With each passing day the message seems to gather strength as I personally experience it in my own life. I see friends and family experiencing it firsthand as well. The message is everywhere and I, although I do not have the right words, must share it with you.
Life is messy.
I know what you are thinking. You can’t believe that I have been struggling for weeks to write and say those 3 simple words. It is an obvious statement to most. How can someone be alive for 40 years and not already know it? Truth be told, I’ve known it for years. I just wasn’t willing to embrace it as truth. And I think I am a part of the majority. I think that most people want to live in a world where we get our way, good things happen to good people, equality and justice are the norm, mistakes aren’t made, and people don’t hurt and disappoint us. We want life to be easy. We want to achieve all of our dreams. We want rainbows and unicorns.
If we are going to chase unicorns we will end up with large piles of manure.
That is the reality. It is okay to strive for the perfect life, to pursue our dreams, to chase unicorns. We just need to know that we will encounter a lot of crap along the way. We will step in it, fall in it, have to smell it and probably even have to eat it at some point. We most certainly will have to clean it up. Life is messy, dirty, smelly, ugly, and downright nasty a lot of the time. We need to know it to be true. We must not be surprised by it. And we cannot let it deter us from the path to our dreams. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14 that “the only clean stable is an empty one.” Solomon goes on to add “If you want the work of an ox, and enjoyment of an abundant harvest, you’ll have a mess or two to clean up.”
If we want to enjoy this life to the fullest, to reach our dreams, we will have messes to clean up along the way. It’s truth. Embrace it. Don’t hide from it. Find joy and happiness in your mess. Let’s be among those who are not afraid of and are willing to clean up the mess. I am not only talking about our mess, but the mess of others as well. Let’s be willing to meet people where they are, deep in their piles of shit. That is where relationships are built. That is where lives are changed. That is where we are supposed to be.
Now, where’s my shovel?