Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sticky notes and mud pies

If my brain were an office, there would be file cabinets gaping wide, saying “ahhhh”, waiting to be checked and cleaned and filled and drilled. Papers would be aflutter, seeking a superior filing system that would link them by subject, chronology, urgency, and importance. Carbon copies, relevant to several different compartments, would swell manila folders and cram drawer space. The repeating lists would keep me bouncing from cabinet to cabinet, because items affect multiple facets of the mind’s working. Mental sticky notes would clamour their hurried reminders from available surfaces all over the office.

Yes, there is a good filing system, but sometimes life doesn’t fit inside the neat spaces I create for it. Compartments like “sleep” intensify in importance; “meals” grow urgent, rushed, and nomadic. “Sewing”, “Sketching”, “Writing”, fluctuate between meagre, skimpy, neglected, bingeing, or guiltily remembered.

How do things get in such disarray? Wound into a tizzy, and overwhelmed by the foolishness and poor planning that brought me here, I don’t know where to begin the cleanup.

Life is not static, and cannot be surmounted with just mental systems and organizational rampages.

Life is fluid, boiling to a vapour, creating impressive sculptures of mammoth proportions that disintegrate on a breeze’s whim. How do I handle this fleeting, sticky, slimy, mysterious substance?

I can’t handle it. I’m not made to.

I’m made of dust.

I am dust, and life is vapour.

Dust and vapour mixed makes mud.

Steamed dust, moulded, dried, baked in heat makes bricks.

And what are bricks for but building? And what are buildings for but to live in? And who else but the Maker of mud and steam would want to live in it? Who else could make sense of all the colours, textures, weights, and potentials of my life, of our lives?

So I look up from bended knee, surrounded by the stacks of paper and dust and mold and possibility. I sigh, close my eyes, and know that I am dust.

I breathe in air and breathe out praise to the God Who knows my frame, and remembers I am dust.

Praise is His life in me, making sense of all my noise, making a way though all the piles I can’t conquer, making me new and clean and right.

So God, breathe Your life in me, give me praise, whether I’m being mixed up, blown on, slathered, baking, or drying out. Help me not make mudpies out of life, but yield it to You, and trust Your skill to make something glorious from it.

What could be more glorious than God indwelling us, enabling us to enjoy Him as He intends?

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