We have a bunch of mess around us at the moment. People mess. Process mess. Property mess. Nothing that could end in prison or questions of character. Just messy life stuff; hurting people, growing pains, delays, and internal stretch marks as I am continually faced with my own fears, inadequacies and uncertainties.
So what do we do?
More and more I’m simply hearing God say advance. Period. He doesn’t say wait til you are perfect. Or wait til you are prepared. Or wait til the people are ready. He simply says advance. Shine. Step up. Stand out. Speak up.
But won’t the mess become more obvious? Advance anyway, cleaning as you go.
But what about the hurting family member? Advance softly, staying close.
But what about the imperfect system and process that is already stretched? Adjust it as you advance.
But what about all the screaming internal fears of failure and inadequacy and uncertainty that will only seem to scream louder as we expand in greater measure? Advance anyway. I AM with you.
What does Wisdom say?
I read the ancient book of wisdom:
The only clean stable is an empty stable.
So if you want the work of an ox and to enjoy the abundant harvest,
You’ll have a mess or two to clean up.
With increase comes mess. Its inevitable. HOWEVER, staying where you are is also mess – maybe smaller like rat mess compared to ox mess…
SO would you rather have mess with abundance or mess with mediocrity? Or have you so reduced your life to safety that there is no mess at all…. kind of like a sterilized morgue.
With life comes mess. Loud mess. Get over it. Get used to it. Get moving.
Advance when it feels awkward and embarrassing.
Advance when it feels messy and unclean.
Advance when you feel inadequate and overwhelmed.
A Word from Dr. King:
Here’s some words from a hero of mine. Be encouraged this morning that regardless of what you are in, keep advancing.
“I say to you, this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.”
“You may be thirty-eight years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer.
You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or your are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you or shoot at you or bomb your house. So you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at thirty-eight as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.
You died when you refused to stand up for right.
You died when you refused to stand up for truth.
You died when you refused to stand up for justice
Don’t ever think that you’re by yourself. Go on to jail if necessary, but you never go alone.
Take a stand for that which is right, and the world may misunderstand you, and criticize you. But you never go alone, for somewhere I read that one with God is a majority. And God has a way of transforming a minority into a majority.
Walk with Him this morning and believe in Him and do what is right, and He’ll be with you even until the consummation of the ages.
Yes, Ive seen the lightning flash. Ive heard the thunder roll. Ive felt sin breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul, but I heard the voice of Jesus saying, still to fight on. He promised never to leave me alone.
No, never alone.
No, never alone.”
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Sermon at Ebenezer, November 5, 1967. Died April 4, 1968).