“Don’t worry… someday we will laugh about this.”
Messes Make Memories
“If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:5
It is NOT very often that I will recommend getting “dirty”, after all- just yesterday we were washing our spiritual faces and cleansing ourselves of the figurative mud left on and in us. Today however is not about getting spiritually “messy”. It is about NOT being afraid to make memories in lieu of life’s major and minor messes. Getting dirty in the “natural” (while staying uncompromisingly righteous in spirit and morality) can be a TON of fun!
I was talking with a good friend the other day, about what we do and do not let our children do. Like help us do dishes, clean house, paint walls, mow lawns… etc etc. This reminded me of our last summer, when I had my 10 &12 year olds yielding paint rollers, painting the hallway -complete with painters tape and brush. They really enjoyed the experience (making memories) and even my 7 year old was on clean-up detail. This worked for me! I wasn’t necessarily looking for “perfect”, it was not beyond my abilities to clean up after the misses.
As I was looking for a good scripture, in which to illustrate the point that “messes make memories” I was drawn to Luke 9:5. This famous scripture involves the “dusting off” of feet when someone does not receive your message. While it may be a stretch in illustration, it is a messy memory maker. The disciples are basically being told to leave a town, and CLEAN off your sandals of ANYTHING that reminds you of the way things used to be. MAKE A BIG MESS… MESSES MAKE MEMORIES. (Can’t you just see clouds of dust wafting up into the air as the disciples were all dusting off their Birkenstocks!)
The “Messier” We Are, the Better!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Cor 5:17
Christ’s death on the cross was neither clean nor private. It was messy and violent, painful and bloody. Jesus bleed from at least seven places on His way to and while on the cross.
- He sweat [as*] blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. [Luke 22:44] *depends on interpretation
- He bleed through his feet. [Psalm 22:16]
- He bleed through his hands. [John 20:25]
- He bleed through his head. [John 19:2]
- He bleed from his back. [John 19:1]
- He bleed internally. [Isaiah 53:5]
- He bleed through the piercing of His side. [John 19:34]
Yes, Christ’s death WAS MESSY. But what a MEMORY! Through His sacrifice, His blood shed- history became permanently impacted and an unwashable memory made! There is something that happens when messes our made… the identity of the thing involved IS PERMANENTLY CHANGED.
Permanent change, comes from identity change. If your son takes your car for a joy ride, and gets in a fender bender… will your car ever BE the same? If your daughter helps you in the kitchen with dishes and breaks a cup… will it ever BE the same? NO! The cup and the car have taken on a NEW identity- how you handle the “accident” is based on your level of maturity NOT theirs.
When we look at our “messed” up lives, all the heart-ache, pain and sorrow- we may wonder… can we EVER get cleaned up? Could I EVER be clean? Scripture says YES! YES! Because, when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior- you are not a “sinner” any more- you are saved by grace! You are now a “CHRISTIAN” A follower of Christ. You have a new identity, and the day you turn your life over to Lord becomes a BENCH mark in your own personal history- because the day you CHOOSE Christ becomes memorable! Not only will you notice it- everyone else will too!
I find it funny how it seems as if (to God) the messier… THE BETTER! Look at the transformations of Moses (a murderer), David (an adulterer, and murderer), Job (a fearful man), and of course Saul who later became Paul! God isn’t looking for “perfection” He is looking for men and women who desire to begin making MEMORIES for and WITH Him!
“If they can clean THAT up..”
There is NO Mess Too Big For God To Clean UP
The week of March 24, 1989, permanently changed my life. On March 24, 1989, a vessel named Exxon Valdez ran aground on resulting in the second largest spill in United States history. The size of the spill was estimated at 40,900 to 120,000 m3 (10,800,000 to 32,000,000 USgal), or 257,000 to 750,000 barrels. The oil spill off the shore of Alaska became named The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.
I will never forget being a twelve year old girl watching the news as humanitarians were using “Dawn” liquid dish detergent to carefully scrub each feather off oil ridden birds. Birds and wildlife had been plagued with the oil spill, and as I watched them being gently bathed and washed (many, many of them) I decided that if they could clean up birds after an oil spill there was NO mess too BIG to clean up.
As a mother, I have learned that letting my children “get messy” does a couple of things- #1 It teaches them that failing is “AOK” and actually a part of life, #2 It creates a MEMORY, “Remember the time when Johnny put the car in drive and ran over the neighbors rose bushes?!”, #3 It demonstrates to others that every mess… CAN be cleaned up, and that NOTHING is too big to be cleaned up! (Just like you and me!)
“Who needs clean?”
Let’s Make a MESS!
As a new mother, with my first son- I never let him do anything that would get him messy. I was always a control nutso, I ALWAYS fed him out of a jar. I never let him feed himself, and FORGET sandboxes, mud, pudding- all the FUN stuff! Instead, he ate simple food and was in no way going to get “messy”. As a now experienced mother of 5, I can tell you that was A MISTAKE. EVERYDAY that someone breaks something, scuffs something, scratches something, tears something, rips something, and breaks something- is a day a MEMORY is made.
What is in your life that you have let get “too clean”? When was the last time you jumped into something with both feet and “made a mess”? Where are those dreams of yours- gone? Today is a day to be BOLD and create a mess, so big that you will be FORCED to have to clean up after it… AND be forced to have to remember the way your life was before and after the decision was made. Dear friends, don’t go through life NOT living… cleanse yourself in spirit and mind daily, but let’s not forget that: “Anything WORTH doing is WORTH doing poorly!” – G. K. Chesterton
God Bless you friends as you step out in faith and plan to “get messy!” God is right there with you, and I know you will begin to make memories together!
Jessica Heilman is a Christian author, Preacher, wife and mother of 5. She blogs daily on life, family, and her walk with Christ in a modern and Biblically-applicable way. She believes that the Bible is timeless, and that it is THE foundational reading for the 21rst Century in regards to wholehearted living. Her mission daily: to do everything she possibly can to hasten the return of the coming Christ.
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