Here’s a little story from my life:
I like a clean house. I like things to be in order. So when things in my home are out of place and messy I work hard at making time to get them back in order. There’s really nothing wrong with being that way, but when I let that become more important than a life then it becomes something not so great.
Here’s what happened the other day. We’ve been doing a little room makeover at our house. (see previous post) With that being done, my house was out of place and all of my routine chores had been neglected. So by Sunday afternoon things were in need of attention. I had my little plan all figured out: after church eat a quick lunch, start laundry, clean kitchen, finish up wall painting, do this, do that, etc. My husband and I had discussed this plan and I was excited because he was available and willing to help me out on some things.
We were on our way home, David’s cellphone rang. He answered. I heard “what’s up? Yeah, we’ll be home in just a few minutes”. My attitude and thoughts immediately turned sour. I had a plan and already the plan was getting interrupted. The phone call was from a 12 year old boy that lives around the block from us. He was out skating in the neighborhood and wanted to come by and see us.
So within thirty seconds of pulling into our driveway, here came our friend skating down the street. He was grinning ear to ear. He was so happy to see us and so happy to be coming over to our house for the first time ever. My feelings weren’t the same. I politely greeted him and all the while I was hoping he wasn’t planning on staying for very long. I looked over and he was sitting down on the bench outside our front door, removing his skates and pulling out tennis shoes from his backpack. He was getting comfortable for his Sunday afternoon visit. I went on in the house and did a quick run through to pick up any personal items and I was so frustrated. I was so frustrated that David was being so genuinely sweet and chipper with the boy. He wasn’t giving him any clues that we were busy. I was frustrated at so many things. I walked into our bedroom and sat on our bed. Meanwhile I could hear David and the boy talking. I can’t quite remember what exactly I heard the boy say…it wasn’t so much what he said but how he said it. His voice told me that he felt so much love by being in our home. And in that moment God showed me that in life the big picture isn’t about how clean or straight or cute your house is, but the big picture is God. And here in my home was a life in need of love, attention and most of all God. I couldn’t help but think of my pastor’s family that while I was growing up always welcomed us teenagers into their home any day of the week.
While David and the boy visited for a few minutes in the front of the house, I did a few little things and then found myself sitting on the couch talking and visiting. He stayed for a while and we had a great time. And in the end David and I got a few things done to help with the progress of the work to be done. It was a good afternoon.
I’ll leave you with these three quotes that I have loved for a long time, but this past Sunday I think I got a little better understanding of them.
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
“The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.”