Sunday night was quite the chaotic scene at our house. We went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and were riding bikes and throwing frisbees and flying our little remote control helicopters we got for Christmas. We then decided to pull out the firepit, gathered some wood, and lit a roaring blaze. Pretty soon we had some neighbors over and even some kids from the neighborhood gravitated towards the fire and hung out.
The next thing we know we are pulling out marshmallows, chocolate and Graham crackers (from aross the street) and we are cooking up some smores. While that’s going on we crank on the oven to try and throw some stuff in there for dinner. We’ve go kids going and coming in and out of our house, using the bathroom, washing marshmallow stickiness off of their hands, etc. As the night goes on we make some hot chocolate and even bring the helicopters out for a night mission over the front yard.
Yesterday as I woke and headed towards the coffee pot, my eyes met with a scene of wreckage and junk everywhere in my kitchen. On one hand I was thinking, ‘wow this is going to be quite the cleanup’ but on the other hand I saw it as a beautiful mess. There is a little verse in Proverbs 14:4 that says, ‘Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.’ This verse is basically saying that if you want to reap a great harvest, you are going to have to endure some messiness along the way. Oxen were the ‘tractors’ back in those days that greatly increased your ability to have an abundant harvest but they were messy creatures that had to be cleaned up behind and fed.
In a little bit different way, if we want to reap an abundant spiritual harvest, we need to be willing to embrace some beautiful messes in our life. Having kids, practicing hospitality, helping those in need are all messy endeavors. If we avoided all of them, we could maintain a lot cleaner life and yet that life would become hollow and empty. It’s in the messiness of relationships where God shows up and we experience the ‘spiritual harvests’ that Jesus references in John 4 where He says, ‘Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.’ (John 4:35)
So, let’s be people who choose the beautiful mess of relationships!