This post is excerpted from Simple Acts of Moving Forward.
We often think that we aren’t patient enough or kind enough. But do we ever consider that people of faith should be daring? After all, we are called to a different kind of life, one that should shake things up and make people think. But if we never learn the art of being adventurous and daring, how will we allow faith to carry the day?
Do you ever feel like this? I’ve become so hyper lately, so obsessed with details, so worried over things that even I know don’t matter. When did I get to be strung so tight? How can I relax and enjoy life more?
I can’t remember a time when my grandmother’s house wasn’t cluttered. She was always halfway through several projects. Most of the time she had people in her house as well. Plus, she liked to cook and make things for people. She knew where to find whatever she needed, so her messiness never bothered me. I knew that if I had to have scissors or green frosting, she’d come through.
My house is cluttered too. I love stuff. I like to use it, organize it, look at it. I collect tea paraphernalia. I have books and magazines all over the house. My husband is a photographer, so we have his mess around as well.
When company comes, I straighten the mess. But I’ve learned to live with it. I say it’s the sign of creativity. It’s the evidence of happiness.
Be messy. Let your life’s stuff hang out. Keep around you the things that make you happy. You could hire someone to deep clean the place every now and then, or you could clean house (or office) yourself. But don’t mess with the mess. It keeps your interests close at hand. Don’t put out of sight what gives you joy. Let the photos pile up on the countertop. It’s nice if you can sort and display them, but until you have time for that, pile them. Leave your books and magazines all over the house. So what if you’ve started sixteen different books and articles? Bookmarks are inexpensive, especially if they are slips of newspaper or pieces of junk mail.
Mess is where life gets truly interesting. Don’t be bothered by it unless it really gets in the way of your activity and creativity.
A Little Prayer for the Next Step
Please give me the discipline to get rid of the stuff that’s not important, the freedom to savor the stuff that gives me joy, and the patience not to worry about the stuff that’s messy but not hurting anybody.