Have you ever noticed that the older you get in life the messier things seem to become?
I would have never agreed with that statement until I became a mom. I used to think that as we matured, we were able to take care of ourselves; you know, straighten up around the house, wipe our feet on the mat, etc. But, BOY WAS I WRONG!
Let’s take potty training for example. When you start to potty train your child, a son in my case, you have lofty dreams of no more diapers to change, no more diaper bag to tote around. Ahh…FREEDOM!
And then you start the process…yes, it IS a process. I don’t believe you can potty train a child overnight, in three days, or in a week. IT IS A PROCESS! And it’s MESSY!
If you’re like me, you tackle day time potty training first. When you first start out, there’s #1 and #2 in the underwear, on the clothes, on the floor (and not just the bathroom floor)…EVERYWHERE! It’s no longer contained to the diaper. WHY OH WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES! I never realized how inaccurate a boy’s aim could be until I was potty training my son. I think it ended up everywhere in the bathroom except the toilet…the floor, the walls, the cabinets, the trash can…ugh.
Then after you think you have day time potty training down, you attempt to scale the mountain of nighttime potty training…the wet sheets, the wet pajamas, the laundry in the middle of the night. WHY?WILL IT EVER STOP?!?
OK, so we all know that potty training can be messy, but would expect learning how to brush your own teeth to be messy? Me neither…until recently, that is. My dentist told me that kids aren’t physically capable of correctly and efficiently brushing their own teeth until around 8 years old when they have developed the necessary motor skills. Well, this mama wanted to be able to get a little more accomplished in the morning so Bubba starting learning at 5 years old. I now understand why the dentist said 8 years old. Toothpaste on the wall, behind the door, on the floor, all over the counters…HOW?!?
As I was cleaning up toothpaste from the hall carpet the other day, I was thinking about how messy my son has become as he has matured. And then I thought about me…how my life seems to get messier as I mature in my Christian walk.
The day we become a Christian we become aware of our sin nature. Each day after that, we become more aware as we pray, read the Bible, and fellowship with others. The Bible is a great tool to expose sin, kinda like blue toothpaste on white carpet. What you once thought was fine, the Bible now points out is not okay.
- Prayer requests now look like gossip
- An extra sweet treat (or 2 or 10) now looks like gluttony
- “Venting” to your best friend or husband now sounds like complaining or being judgmental
So does that mean we stop trying and give up trying to live a life for Christ? Well, would you give up on potty training after a few accidents?
NO! We keep trying. We know that our kids will eventually get through the day without pooping in their underwear. They will eventually get through the night without pull-ups. They will eventually be able to brush their teeth and keep the toothpaste where it belongs (we’re still working on this one). It may take a week, a month, a year, or maybe longer, but they’ll get it eventually. They will reach the goal: INDEPENDENCE!!!
And so will we. Now, we will never be perfect here on earth. That’s part of the curse. But we can strive to do better, to learn more about God and His will for our lives every day. And we will reach our goal one day: HEAVEN, where EVERYTHING is perfect!
So, let me leave you with this: as you mature in your Christian walk, much like we mature as children, things will get messier. But KEEP GOING! Press on toward the goal!!!