Do you like cleaning? And I don’t mean stick the dishes in the dishwasher kind of cleaning. I mean moving furniture, dusting cobwebs, and sweeping messes out of the couch. I wouldn’t say cleaning is my favorite thing to do but, I have learned a thing or two from the hours I’ve spent cleaning. What I’ve learned goes beyond washing windows. It steps right up and reminds me of God while saying I should trust Him!
On Friday, two weeks ago, I found myself busily engulfed in cleaning up our house. While cleaning isn’t always one of my favorite jobs, I found a long time ago that music transforms it. When I say transforms, I mean like a giant, complete U-turn transformation. I just turn on a couple good songs, add some dance moves, and voilà! Cleaning is fun!
When I’m cleaning I usually try to find, in the midst of the mess, a reason to dance! (Cause what says cleaning hard better than dancing?) But often a messy room doesn’t seem to provide me with any inspiration to dance. Except when I hit my hand on a sink faucet and do the heartfelt jig of waving my hand up and down singing out, “Ow! OW! Ow!”
While messes don’t inspire me, music always make me dance! So I spring out in what I hope is dance moves, usually trip on a rug, and sing to the music pretending I’m Julie Andrews in a musical. Or I make up my own songs to sing and end up pretending to be a singing, army cook that helps win the war with her hearty songs and good food! (Yah, I’m kinda crazy. 😉 )
Realizing How I Can be Thankful for Messes.
I was on a cleaning spree two weeks ago when in the midst of my work thanksgiving crossed my mind. When I thought of it I couldn’t help but look around and smile. I was listening to one of the best songs ever, (I forget now what it was, just know it was a good song!) I was feeling energetic, and I was looking forward to a upcoming celebration of thankfulness! Therefore, I felt like dancing right then!
You see some days when I find myself slaving away cleaning up sticky dishes, dust covered floors, and all sorts of scattered of items I have to try to be thankful. But somehow that day, well, it wasn’t hard to be thankful! True, it was just as messy as usual yet, in someway it was different. I wasn’t viewing things as a mess that I had to clean up again and again. Instead I saw my people.
I saw a pile of craft stuff scattered upon a card table and envisioned my mom and all her beautiful, creative ideas that cheer me up every time I see them. I saw Lego boxes perched on the kitchen table and spilling out building blocks of color, inviting someone to create. In them I pictured my brother and his works. From giant cranes to beautiful manger scenes to entire cities, his building skills wow me every day. I swept up hordes of popcorn kernels that we had spilled but just smiled because I saw us all watching movies together, eating Dad’s favorite snack, and enjoying the warm, cozy basement on windy, chilled, winter evenings.
The food stained plates, the popcorn covered floor, the rumpled pile of pillows forgotten from the night before, they were more than a mess, they were memories. The mess doesn’t last. But the memories do. Yes, it seems like I clean one day and it’s a mess the next but honestly it only takes me twenty minutes to clean up the basement. And I will remember the food we ate and the time we spent together forever!
Seeing Beauty in the Mess.
Not all days do we just feel thankful like I did that Friday. In fact just one week later I wasn’t too delighted to clean, but I remembered the Friday before and realized cleaning’s actually not that bad. In fact it’s pretty good. And so I smile, dance to my favorite song, and trip on the sweeper chord, because I am overjoyed with God’s blessings. Even the messes can turn into blessings at the hand of our good God.
And just like I let music transform my cleaning, so we can let God transform our daily messes.
We can just bring them to Him, give Him the dust rag, and relax. God teaches us through messes. They are good thing because they keep us trusting in Him, the ultimate cleaner. I don’t have long check list of how to be perfectly happy and thankful all the time. All I know is that God is good. I have learned in my life and by observing the lives of others, that God doesn’t leave things a mess. And He doesn’t let messes come into the lives of His children if He’s not gonna turn them into something good. Messes aren’t easy. They aren’t always fun. In fact they’re usually hard and scary. But by the grace of God they can be beautiful.
That day when I was cleaning, I saw the beauty of the mess because I saw beyond it to the moments I’d spent with family. When life is messy we need to look beyond the mess and remember: God works all for the good of those who love Him. Does this mean we’re always happy? No, of course not. But it does mean that we have hope that God will make all things beautiful! The mess won’t last. The hard moments of life won’t last. Neither will the hurt last. But the good memories, the things you learned, the friends you made, the trust God gave to you, it will last.
You may not see any easy solution to your mess, whether it is dealing with spilled milk or broken hearts, but that’s ok. Our God is not just a cleaner. He’s a fixer of everything. He’s in the business of turning messes in masterpieces. Give the mess to Him, let Him clean, (Trust His methods even if it seems like He’s not working how you want.) and He will make your life much more gorgeous than any spotless room! So let the music of God’s goodness soak into you soul and trust Him enough to dance with all your heart to that music! (But do watch out for rugs and sweeper chords! 🙂 )