Thank God for Moo-Moos Car Wash! (No, seriously) On a pretty regular basis my Tacoma calls out to me, beckoning me to swing by for its routine car-makeover. Mostly I go for the quick and easy, (and cheap) basic car wash. With a quick wipe down of the glass so it doesn’t spot, I’m in and out in only a few minutes. On occasion, however, I’ve been known to spring for the mac daddy, over the top, clean every crevice car wash; the “Crème De Le Crème!” Typically, I follow those washes up with a thorough vacuum, a wipe down of the interior, finished off with a hand-drying of the entire outside. Boom! Showroom ready again.
On my last outing, I was struck at how messy my truck had gotten, specifically on the passenger side. Coincidentally, that’s the side that Zack sits on, rides to school, football practices and other miscellaneous errands. I found a stale piece of crust from a breakfast sandwich, a crinkled up wrapper from a granola bar with some leftover crumbs as a bonus, a gnawed on pencil, a paper clip, and several unrecognizable food remnants I’d rather not get into. Good times. It occurred to me that Zack’s messiness has taken on a life of its own. I chuckled as I loaded up the trash can at Moo Moos, wondering if Zack had set this as a personal goal for himself.
Later that week, I had conversation with a friend who was trying to figure out how to help another friend get out of the rut they found themselves in. They frustratedly shared that no matter what they did, they couldn’t help dig them out. They were eager to help “clean up the mess” so that life could get back to normal, whatever that means, and reengage with life. As we talked, God spoke something incredibly profound to me: “Ministry is messy. But don’t forget, the messiness is the ministry.” Whoa, that’s deep. I know as a Pastor, I am continually presented with people’s situations that are, shall we say, less than ideal. I mean let’s be honest, people rarely want to meet for coffee just to tell me how smooth everything is going. They typically want to ask for some Biblical insight or advice, or some prayer, because well, life is messy!
It’s part of the fall of man, the original sin of Adam and Eve. We’ve inherited brokenness, chaos, and death. And yeah, messiness is just part of the package deal. BUT, in His divine goodness and sovereignty He allows messes, and dare I say purposes messes, for our own personal benefit. Whether they’re our own messes or other’s around us, God wants to use them to purify us, to sanctify us to draw out His holiness. By fully relying on Him in the midst of any and all of our struggles, we have the opportunity to become more like Jesus.
So, don’t strive to clean up the mess so you can get back to doing ministry and living life “normally” again. Embrace the mess as a gift from God, an opportunity to be transformed more and more into His likeness.
Be Blessed In Your Mess!
~ Pastor Mitch