Life sure can be messy can’t it? Right now, life seems more messy than usual. During this quarantine season I have been downsizing and organizing at home (See my post from April 7 – Less is More to read about that) so my home is looking better than ever, but when I start to think of life outside of my property, or even more so, inside my head, that’s where the mess starts to appear.
When can I worship inside my church sanctuary? Why is no one social distancing inside Costco? How much longer until I get back into my classroom? When can I weigh in at a WW meeting? Will my writing be good enough for publication? When will I have a scheduled speaking engagement? When can I hug my mom or my children? And so it goes. Don’t try to keep up, my thoughts run faster than the Flash. At times it seems challenging to make positive change in this world because there are so many loose ends.
But God. I’m just going to stop right there for a second. I learned recently when we speak that when a sentence contains the word “but”, the second part of the sentence becomes the most important part to the hearer. If I say, “She is such a hard worker, but she is a gossip”, what is the first thing you think – she’s a gossip. I don’t know why our minds work like that, but they do. Try it out. She’s a gossip, but she is such a hard worker. That was an ah-ha moment for me and another lesson in more effective communication, even inside my own head.
Let’s get back to God, shall we? I was thinking it was too hard to make a positive change with so many loose ends in life, BUT GOD showed me I can with His help.
This morning I was on my patio having some quiet time before the day got up to speed. Time to read my Bible and pray in the early hours. I often walk and pray and as I did, my eyes glanced a broken wind chime in the corner of the patio. It was there when we moved in. Some lines are broken and many are tangled. It looks a mess and I’m not even crazy about the colour of it. Many times I thought just to take it down and toss it, but never actually did. I turned and kept walking. Then, the breeze picked up and I heard a beautiful sound. It was the wind chime!
It’s gentle sound made made me smile and God nudged me in that moment. It’s tangled and unattractive but it still has hidden beauty and can positively impact people around it. My life may be filled with tangled circumstances, obstacles and loose ends, right now, in the middle of it all, when the wind of the Holy Spirit moves in my life and I surrender to it, I can bring His joy and beauty into the lives of others.
I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives. Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 (Voice)
Even when circumstances seem tangled like my wind chime, I know that God is working in the moving pieces and I will get to where He has promised to take me. I need to be mindful, recognizing the beauty of what is here and now and be confident enough to reach out towards others even though they can see that I don’t have it all together. God does have it all together and that is what I need to display.
As this Scripture says God has placed in our minds a sense of eternity. My friends, let us not waste this season because it is tangled but be aware of what has eternal value. That includes investment in people. There is nothing more satisfying than to be joyful and to be good to others. Being unhappy and impatient only makes a person miserable. It can even make you physically unwell.
Even in messy circumstances, we can choose joy when we trust in the One who sees the big picture. Even when obstacles seem to hold us back, we can do good. A kind word, a card, a prayer spoken, cookies delivered, quilts stitched, rides given, and more. There is no end to the good we can do in the midst of a tangled life. When the time is right, God will tug on this end, then that, the tangle will fall away and the path forward will be clear. As we wait, let’s joyfully do good and let the beautiful chime ring out.