Life is Messy
Every once in a while, a book comes into your hands that you swear the author has read your mind and stolen your thoughts. The things written seem like an intrusion of your privacy, because they have displayed the inner thoughts of your heart for the world to see. That is how I would describe my encounter with ”Life is Messy” by Matthew Kelly.
Someone loaned me the book last week and I couldn’t put it down. The premise of the book is that we are all broken and wounded. Life isn’t perfect, and it is okay that it isn’t. There are no chapters, as it is written in a stream of consciousness style. That's okay because life doesn't always seem to have clear chapters either. Just yesterday I was an insecure little girl. In no time I will blink and have grandchildren (God willing). Kelly touches base on the concept that the experiences we have shape who we are today, sometimes for the better and sometimes they tear our hearts out. Life doesn’t always turn out the way that we expect, and that is okay. It’s messy but the messy is beautiful. ”Life doesn’t unfold according to our plans. But sooner or later, we each have to decide how we are going to make the most of our one, brief, unexpected life. It is then that we come face-to-face with two enduring truths: We cannot live without hope that things will change for the better and that we are not victims of our circumstances.” (Pg 19)
Life is messy because we are messy. We should live with intentionally, even if we don’t have a map to the finish line. The author points out that this world is random and unpredictable, and that we waste so much energy trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. I had an instance this morning where I messaged a friend a daily devotional that I thought he needed to hear because he had talked about the same subject matter the day before. He let me know in an assertive, yet loving way that what I sent him was the exact opposite of what he needed to hear. I almost went into self-defense mode, but the Holy Spirit told me to stay humble. I was grateful I had just read this book because I realized at that moment that it was okay that I had said the wrong thing. That I am going to make mistakes, but it is never a mistake to try to show someone else love.
We can make the choice to be ambassadors for hope, even if we can’t see the future. We can inspire others by sharing our stories. Emotions are contagious. Let us be a good infection to those around us. We might not be able to choose what happens to us in this life, but we can choose how we react to all things. I pray that God will teach my heart to have an attitude of gratitude instead of worshipping my worries. Throughout the highs and lows, may I never take my eyes off of the one where my help comes from. May we seek comfort less, and learn to stress less in the mess.