What if we could just love and appreciate our lives for what they are now, not what we would hope them to be? What if we could be at peace even when our lives (and the world) are messy?
I have messed up so much in life there is no limit to what I could share. Life is a confounding mystery. And yet we live everyday like it is the most mundane thing.
When Life Feels Messy
I think I’m one of those people who may never really get it. I mke mistakes…big mistakes all the time. Right now my husband and I are paying off debt, I’m in between part-time jobs due to some circumstances far beyond my control, my car is breaking down every other week, we have bills to pay but with what money?
That’s life though. It’s messy. Sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes it’s in part the fault of others, and sometimes it’s just the world doing what it does best. I’m not “woe is me”. I’m not complaining. My point is that life is very challenging for me and for you.
As I process and digest the reality that is my life, I try to find patterns and clues about how I can improve to move forward. I like to think that I have more control over my life than I do, while at the same feeling like I have absolutely no control. It’s a wrestle for balance.
Take my career for example. I’m working my butt off to build a business, one I’ve been trying to build since 2011. I go forward, I move back. I make progress, I digress. But I still keep pushing ahead. Never give up. Life is messy. It always has been, it always will be. I ask myself if I’m doing it wrong. I wonder how I can do better and work harder.
Who Can You Trust To Handle The Mess?
I think to myself, “I wish I could get a handle on all this. Where do I turn?” Personally, I turn to God. Jesus, you know? It wasn’t always like that for me. Even to this day it’s painful for me to hand over my burdens. I’m not really that great at it. What am I supposed to do? Just let them go? Lay them down? Cast them off?
That’s the idea.
But in practice how does that actually look? When it comes to having faith there is so much faith that is required. Whoever you hand your burdens over to has to be genuinely trustworthy in order for you to actually feel unburdened. You really have to know that they’re going to deal with it, that they can handle it, and that they can do something about it.
Are they strong enough? Will they hate me or disown me for unpacking my filthy, messy, tangled life?
I’m not competent when it comes to carrying other people’s burdens. My mom once gave me a change purse with a picture of a mouse on it which said I’m barely squeaking by. God help me, because that’s how I feel most of the time. I’m not strong enough to handle another person’s equally fraught circumstances like I once thought I was. Nope. I’m barely squeaking by myself.
Who could I hand my crap and the crap of others too?
The World’s Mess Is Too Big For You
Look at all that’s happening in the world today; Charlottesville, Barcelona, and unfortunately tomorrow there may be more.
Is it more terrifying and uncertain than any other time in history? Or is it just insane because we’re alive in it? People have a long track record (myself included) of being totally self-oriented, prone to error, and maybe even downright scary. Hate has been around for a long time and until the nature of who we are as people changes, hate will continue to be around. We’re humans. We hate and we love. We’re passionate and apathetic. We’re short-sighted when it comes to our issues and judge ourselves by our best intentions while judging others by their actions.
We’re not really all that fair when you think about it.
That’s what we are. Messy, beautiful, and overwhelming.
In any case…who can I hand all this messiness over to? Who can handle it? Only one person that I know of. Only one.
Can you think of a time in your life when you’ve felt peace? I mean truly felt at peace? What was it like? I want to know. Did it feel a certain way, was everything going just right? Or did it happen upon you while the bus took off with your purse still on it? What causes peace to happen?
It’s funny how everything can be going my way and still I can crave peace. It’s also kind of funny how I can have nothing that I want and suddenly it occurs to me that I’m at peace. Peacefulness isn’t caused by our lack of mess. It isn’t a result of being competent 100% of the time.
The Bible says that we can have a peace that defies all human logic. But you have to do one thing to get that peace. This one thing involves that one person I was mentioning.
You have to give your mess over to the only person who can actually handle it. I can’t handle it. You clearly can’t handle it. The world is sucking at handling it right now. So here’s the formula. You listening? You taking notes? Here’s the 100% foolproof, money back, guarantee method you can use to have peace.
Have joy in Jesus. Say ‘thank you’. Share your worries. Tell him some more. Think about good things.
That’s it. You’re done.
Yeah, simple I know. But it works. Remember it’s a kind of peace that defies all human logic. So don’t stress yourself out trying to understand how something as simple as the above formula could bring you peace.
All I know is that I’m a bull in the china shop of my life.
Oh, I’ll just take a look at this over here…crash. That’ll be $900 dollars. Maybe I should help that lady over there…crash. That’ll be another $900. My best intentions sometimes result in the most monumental failures. And the world doesn’t really contribute to my success if I’m honest. Outside problems come up. A lot more happens which is out of my control than which is in my control.
But I can still have peace just by asking for it. I can wrap each individual problem up in a neat little bow and give it to the only one who can do anything about it. Because, believe it or not, he cares.
I know this post is way outside my norm but I just had to share it with you. If Jesus isn’t your guy, I sincerely hope I don’t run you off by talking about him. Stick around. I’d love to have you here! Next week we’ll be talking about simple living and style again. But in light of all that happened in Charlottesville and all the burdens that you and I face daily, I thought this might be a good side note.