Tuesday, 6 January 2015

God in the Mess

Looking at the messiness of a construction site reminds me of the messiness we can at times find ourselves in. I dislike messiness in every possible form, be it my hair, my work desk, music,... And it irks me to live amidst messiness especially when I haven't the time to tidy things, when I haven't the containers to stack things up neatly. But when I get a chance, I would restore order. 

But not every mess is so easy to make neat. Not every mess can be tidied out in a few hours. This construction site has machines everywhere. Piles of metal wires not placed perpendicular or parallel to one another. Sound barriers half erected. Yet, I know that in time, this mess will be turned into beauty. When this mess has completed what it was meant to build, something will emerge. Beautiful, functional, beneficial to many.

Often, the messiness of life and our inner movements make us feel so uncomfortable and at times, painful, that we hurry to try to clear the mess, fix what needs to be fixed. And when we cannot achieve the desired results in the desired time, it's better to just leave it and shift our attention elsewhere. But it seems that God's grace is found even in the ugliest of all mess because this mess is a work-in-progress. This mess is to build something beautiful. This mess requires our patient waiting, hopeful hanging on. This mess is God's workshop.

The difference is that in a construction site, the people involved in the building know the plan. They know the final outcome they are working towards. They have the blueprint. They see the end and know the duration of the work. In the life of faith, we don't. We don't know anything and yet we are called to walk on, to labour on, to remain in the mess, trusting in a God we cannot see, whose plan for us we cannot know. All we can fall back on is our own life history, our own experiences of who this God has been for us. He is, by the evidence of my own life, the God who never fails, who never disappoints, who is very sober and knows exactly what He's doing with us and in us.

In moments of messiness, of desolations, we can only beg God for the graces to continue waiting, hoping, trusting and loving.

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