There are days where my world feels completely out of control. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get a grip. I find myself grasping at straws simply trying to find a place to hold. I don’t know what it is about days like this, but the only thing that makes me feel better is to clean. I can be grouchy and beyond tired but for some reason, taking the time to reclaim, clean, and organize an area gives me some semblance of control. After I get done, I step back, inspect the area, let out a big, happy sigh, and I’m better.
Today was one of those days. So many areas of my world are spinning out of my control and cleaning was the one thing that could help regain some order. As I moved into the master bathroom, I realized just how little attention this room has received in the recent weeks. We have had so many other projects going on, it has been easy to close the door and ignore the mess.
At first, I set out to only clean the shower and toilet. Then I realized the sink needed to be scrubbed. Well, then I noticed a sticky place on the floor. And the list went on and on. I finally had to quit for the night even though I kept finding more and more areas that needed to be cleaned.
As I was mopping, it dawned on me how easy it was to simply close the bathroom door and not deal with the mess. Messes are messy. They require a lot of hard work and intentional focus. Time and energy have to be exerted and decisions have to be made about how to best handle the mess. We may regret the decision later, but on the front side, closing the door seems like the best idea.
We do the same thing with the messy parts of our lives. Daily we recognize problems and issues. We excuse them away and say we will deal with them later, when we have more time and energy. We allow the mess to grow for so long that it becomes normal. Closing the door seems easier than trying to wade through the mess and bring it back to order again.
But closing the door only makes the mess bigger. When the day comes to open the door and clean it up, the mess will be large and hard to deal with. At this point, no matter where we look, we will constantly see the wreckage of our brokenness and wish we hadn’t neglected it for so long.
Messes are messy. They require a lot of hard work and intentional focus. Time and energy must be exerted and decisions have to be made about how to best handle the mess. If you are aware of some areas that you have been shoving away and shutting the door, take some time to deal with those issues. If you don’t deal, you won’t heal. Stop closing the door. Deal with the mess before life gets too messy to clean up.