Sometimes I rush a bit. (That might be a tad bit of an understatement…) I rush and then spill stuff like coffee, or drop stuff like phones or keys or…beads. (Rushing never seems to pay off by the way.)
Well, the other day, it was beads that I spilled. Not just a few…it was a whole tray of seed beads that Tanner had given me. I love the bright colors of the THOUSANDS of beads that spilled. THOUSands of teeny tiny beads. Oops.
Normally, when I buy beads, I sort them into colors. Not all of them, but mainly the big ones because sorting helps me find the right beads for projects a lot faster. But as soon as I looked at this pile on the ground and thought about the time it’d take to sort them, well, I realized that sometimes things are just not worth sorting out.
My next thought was “That doesn’t just apply to sorting beads…”
I’m one who likes to figure things out—to know my part in things, to be clear with folks when there’s a question, to keep peace and try to reach understandings when there’s not. Life is full of misunderstandings for sure. Sometimes all it takes is a word here or a conversation there to strengthen a bridge of understanding that might’ve been weakened by a misunderstanding or mistake. That’s a beautiful thing. It really is. It’s like the ‘stitch in time saves nine’ concept. Addressing issues early on can not only keep peace, but strengthen bonds. Yes, sometimes all it takes is some intentional meeting in the middle to sort things out.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Period. Sometimes things can’t be sorted out. Not right away anyway.
It’s a tough reality that, sometimes, no matter how much time and energy is put into something, there just might not be a solution for the time being…or the end result might just not be worth the effort. I know myself well enough to know that I could put lots of time into sorting those teeny tiny beads, and then just spill them again, lol. I can find the beads I want without having to sort them all. So I need to live with some messiness. I like order, I do. But I also value my time, and it would take way to much time and effort to sort those beads out when it wouldn’t help me all that much anyway.
Life is messy…there’s a constant need for tidying up for sure—with laundry, dishes, spilled beads, –and relationships. It takes effort to keep things tidy–in our homes, and in our hearts.
But sometimes there’s no sorting out to be found in relationships because it takes more than one person. Forcing another person who doesn’t want to sort things out before they are ready to sort things out can backfire big time. It’s like you’ve got your spilled beads all over the place and are worried about their beads and they spill their beads and their beads and your beads all just get jumbled up and mixed up together and make more a total mess that will take so much longer to ‘sort out’. In the same way that my rushing around caused me to spill beads, rushing toward (and even forcing) quick resolutions in relationships can create more of a mess for sure.
I love how the Word of God can shed light on things. Ephesians 4:2-3 says,
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Humility knows that life gets messy. Humility sees that things take time. Humility has eyes to see the other’s needs. Humility allows another’s needs to take precedence, and is patient. Humility makes efforts to keep unity in a relationship where strife could easily settle in.
The verse says make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. It doesn’t say to make every effort to be heard. It doesn’t say to make every effort to be understood. It doesn’t say to make every effort to come to a consensus or reach a solution. It says to keep unity through the bond of peace.
I’d love to have all my ducks in a row, all my beads sorted in an array of beautiful shapes and colors. I’d love for all of my relationships to be free of mess for sure. But it seems that no matter how good the relationship is, there are times when things can get messy. Misunderstandings can spill out of our hearts and minds. Damage can be done. We make mistakes, and mistakes can take a big toll and create messes that take long periods of time to be healed. Mistakes can create messes that take lots of time to sort out and through.
That’s why I love the verse in Ephesians that talks about being humble and gentle. We all would love to be understood. To be heard. To be valued. But in the midst of the mess, if we’re forcing quick resolutions, and demanding things to look a certain way (not messy), well, it can create bigger messes. MUCH bigger messes. Humility helps us step back and see big picture things. It helps us love well in the middle of the mess. It also helps us receive love. That’s the cool thing. Arrogance demands but builds walls that can keep one from the very thing they are demanding. Humility tears the walls down, accepts what is, and gives positive incentives to move forward no matter how messy the mess may be.
Well, that’s my two cents for today. ❤ It’s a beautiful day here– even with spilled beads and coffee and things that aren’t all tidy and boxed up. I’m thankful for the grace that breathes life into the best and worst of situations, grace that sees beyond what’s seen –even when what’s seen is a mess. Even the mess can be beautiful when seen in the right light. Even spilled out on the ground, there’s beauty to be found.