Many of us wash floors during the week–so tell me, how do you feel when someone walks on it just after mopping? Are you like me when you step on a wet floor at a restaurant or department store–empathizing and apologizing as if I just stepped on the washers toes?
In our new home, we have a laundry room that acts as laundromat central for all ten of us. It’s also a hallway and keeper of dogie, gardening, and paint supplies. This past week, after months of neglect, I decided to wash the floor. It began as a thrilling experience because in my mind, if I’m washing the laundry room floor, there isn’t anything left for me to cleanse in the house. All went well until I got to the linen closet–the place where the twelve or so paint cans sat at my feet. In one flick of my mop, I managed to tip a can to the floor and then watch the flowing white liquid cover the area I had just been washing.
Have you ever noticed that it seems to take the most extreme scenario to expose speech that isn’t spoken under normal circumstances? My heart must still have a little c*@# inside because that is what came splashing out of my mouth in a panic for precious ears to hear. With paper towel wadding around my hand, I bent over the mess swiping and wiping with very slow success. A little twisting of the can revealed it was primer covering my hands and coating the inside of the wet garbage bag.
You’d think that because I didn’t delay in the clean up process, the repercussions of my little mess wouldn’t leave me covered in paint. Think again. It was a day filled with appointments and running errands. Some thought I had been treating my hands and arms for poison ivy. Some were asking what I had been painting, and some must have just been wondering why I didn’t look in the mirror before I left home and hadn’t gotten the paint off of my neck or out of my hair.
Maybe we’re all in this place at times–intending to make something better but instead pushing through and making things worse for ourselves or others. Have you ever been there? Maybe we just need to slow down and pray more before taking action. Maybe we should examine our hearts and methods before God a little longer before we speak words we later want to take back. I know, people may misunderstand, stand in judgement, question, or assume why we appear to be in such a mess at times. The reality is though–people may only see the end result–whether it’s what we intended or not.
It is my prayer that God will take every mess in my life and and yours–and make them messages for the good. Only he can do that for each of us if we ask him to. God’s the best at untangling every situation, an expert in washing away sin, and perfect at creating new starts in life. Now that’s exciting for messies like me and can give us hope!