“Mess” is a key ingredient to our growth process. So, how do we prevent our natural desire to avoid it? Life would be easier if everything was simple, clean, decluttered and devoid of conflict… Right?
The short answer? No.
Life is messy. If you plan to experience life, then you will find some messes, and avoiding messes will result in avoiding life.
Many times when we create a mess our instinct is to start on a new project in a “clean” area rather than returning to a half-complete mess that needs cleaning up. You can choose to procrastinate or avoid it, but eventually, that mess will demand your attention.
Let’s define “Mess”
“Mess” is uncertainty, clutter, confusion, conflict… you can fill in the list.
There is “mess” around my property, my relationships, and my business. Some I created. Some were created for me. I never feel my best in the middle of it. Yet it seems like nothing happens without walking through it.
If you need a life that is always tidy, has a system for all potential problems, and structures for all areas of concern, my advice is: don’t be an entrepreneur or a parent!
Why we Hate “Mess”
Many of the reasons connected with our avoidance and dislike for “Mess” are rooted in lies we’ve been told. Here’s the list I’ve found in my own thinking.
- Holiness is NOT the absence of mess. It is a gift from God in SPITE of mess.
- Jesus didn’t avoid mess. He landed right in the middle of it AND didn’t clean it all up.
- The greater the production, the greater the mess.
- Mess is not an excuse for productivity – finish what you started or clear the table.
- What do I need to say NO to?
- What do I need to follow through on?
- What am I avoiding because of perceived mess?
- The only clean stable is an empty stable. So if you want the work of an ox and to enjoy an abundant harvest, you’ll have a mess or two to clean up! Proverbs 14:4 TPT
This is a quote from Martin Luther – The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, by Eric Metaxas.
When navigating a mess, I’ve learned a couple things to help me.
- Do it with a friend/partner/colleague; don’t do it alone.
- Do it first; don’t procrastinate.
- Embrace it; don’t avoid it. Mess is the pathway to something beautiful.
Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality.He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development.Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, CA. For more check out the Authentic Conversations Podcast.