When I was a senior at Miami, I was on the leadership team of Campus Crusade for Christ, called Shepherd Team. One Shepherd Team meeting, when the actual CCC staff were not present, we (meaning my brilliant roommate Andrew) had the idea that we should have a time of confession. Just getting stuff out in the open, being vulnerable with each other. I, being the mature senior that I was, decided I would break the ice by having a "fake" confession. Well, as I was giving my fake confession I realized there were some real stuff in my life that needed to have the light shone on it. So I did. I opened the door to my life and let my peers, Christian leaders, see the ugly stuff that I am good at covering up. And then the next person did the same. Pretty soon, people were crying, confessing hidden sin and repenting together.
That may sound wonderful to you and very spiritual, or it may sound very bizarre, depending on what you believe but if it sounds bizarre, think of it this way; it was a bunch of people getting real with each other, taking of the masks, and being brutally honest about their failures and encouraging/praying for each other. There are some things in life that stick with you, that you remember word for word. Well, that night, I remember someone that I hold in the highest regard (Matt W.) saying this: "Life is messy. The beautiful thing is that we get to pursue God in the mess."
For some reason that hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. And it still applies today. Life is messy. I keep waiting for it to clear up, for life to become simpler, easier, less complex. Instead, it only seems as if things keep piling on and I don't know if it will ever stop. I see my parents and they don't have any kids in the house anymore (except for me, for the time being) and they are busier than ever with grandkids and jobs and volunteer stuff and people who need prayed for... the list goes on. I keep thinking that "All I need is a job, and things will simplify." Go ahead, laugh, I know it sounds ridiculous that a job could simplify things. But I just want to have life not be so messy. And I don't think life works that way.
Life is messy. We screw up, we make mistakes, we earn and lose money and trust and friends and life continues to be complicated and messy. But the beauty of it, as Matt said, is that we get to pursue God in the mess. It isn't as if God is waiting for us to get our stuff together, get it all figured out, and then we can follow Him. We can pursue Him and follow Him when it feels like life is upside down. It's like we are (as a wise woman and friend Tracy put it) "slogging through miles of waist-deep mud to get to a treasure." And you know one of the most beautiful things about it? God pursues us in the mess. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." Even when we are like Israel in the Old Testament and run the other way, God calls after us, chases us, allures us. He pursues us in this mess we have made.
Life is messy. My life is messy. And I screw it up a lot, but I want to continue to pursue God in the mess.