I opened the cupboard door, right above the stove. I reached for the box…but it slipped out of my hand just in time for me to notice this box was open and its contents crashed down upon the stove top with great array. I always knew that I had some creative, graphic artist side; just didn’t know that it would come out when I was making dinner. What you don’t see is the boiling pot of water right next to this and the red glow of the burner looking to burn up the spaghetti before it even sees the inside of the pot.
This is not my first mistake, my first attempt at making a mess of things, or the first time pasta has gotten one up on me. It most likely will not be the last time either. Even more sobering is that spaghetti is not the only thing I’ve messed up in life. There are the words I wish I hadn’t said and the ones I wish I had. There’s the time I wish I would have given and the time I wish I had to invest in something that really matters. Just a quick look over the Biblical story from cover to cover and a look at my own life makes it easy to be convinced that humans (including me), really do a good job of making a mess of things.
Rather than submit to a rut of doubts and negative thinking however, perhaps in the times we make a mess we would be better served by responding with humility, laughter, and an acceptance of grace. The Apostle Paul recognizes the reality that he “had not already obtained or reached the goal; but he pressed on to make it his own, because Christ Jesus had made us his own” (Philippians 3:12). Paul seems to recognize need for growing into, moving onward, striving after, and discovery that we ultimately become all that we can be in Christ. Perhaps I need reminding every now and then that I haven’t arrived and that being human means I am learning, growing, changing all while being loved not for what I can do or not do, but just because God loves me.