The Short Gap Volunteer Fire Company has been hosting wrestling events. Being that I have 45+ years of food experience, I have headed up the concessions for the events. That is where the department makes their money. After the wrestling, it is always late in a long day so I usually put food away and leave the dirty crockpots and utensils for the next day.
When I walked in the other morning after the wrestling event, the kitchen at the church looked like a disaster zone. There were crocks and dirty dishes across the 15 foot counter and in the sink. My first act was making a pot of coffee. Then I began, one dish, one crock, one utensil at a time until an hour and a half (and a half a pot of coffee) later, the work was done. The mess was cleaned up.
When I first walked in, I knew it was my mess to clean up. Nobody else even knew the mess was there. But I knew. As I was working on the cleanup that morning, I was reflecting on the mess that was, and too often still is, my life. I am thankful that twenty one years ago I came to realize that I was a mess that I could not clean up on my own. Too often people have the idea that they must get right with God before He will accept them. It is as if we think we can make ourselves “presentable” to Him before we approach Him. The truth is, in order for God to accept us, in order to be saved, we must humble ourselves and admit our failings… our helplessness. We are initially made right with God by His grace. We are no longer condemned. Then He begins the lengthy cleanup to make an example of our lives. I will attest it is a lifelong job, not because of His efforts, but because of my nature. I thank God He is still cleaning up my messes until that day this life is over and I am finally made perfect!