Making a big mess

I cleaned out a closet recently that was haphazardly stuffed with stuff. I started pulling stuff out—random stuff, Christmas stuff that didn’t make it into the box before heading to the attic, homeless stuff that doesn’t even have a place, and “should really be tossed, but we’re going to hang onto it anyway" stuff. The mess in the room was getting worse the closet. And underneath all that stuff, there is the stuff that should be in the closet that’s mostly still organized. All this new stuff was piled on top of the stuff that was supposed to be there.

Two thoughts came to me during that process. One, you have to make a big mess before you can ultimately clean it up and two, cleaning is equal parts organizing and purging. This is a nice little analogy for my life right now. My wife and I are making a big mess right now as we attempt to bring order and change to our lives. It’s ugly. We have made decisions about many aspects of our lives (more to come on that in future posts) that are now playing out. By putting those decisions in motion, we have brought chaos into our lives. Our lives feel strewn all over the place.

But, amidst all of this big mess, I keep seeing glimpses of the fruit. Or at the least, hopes of the fruits of these decisions. Also, in this process, we’re trying to make good decisions about what needs boundaries in our life and what needs to just go away. It’s fraught with disagreements and hard decisions. When we can keep the bigger picture in mind, though, we are able to stay sane. Through all of this, I hope I am not deceiving myself. I hope this big mess we’re making is not ultimately just a big mess.