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Abundance of Life in Messes

You know what? Even a person that likes to clean up messes gets tired of mud and goo prints and sticky floors. I am happiest at break time at school when there are dishes in the sink just waiting to be washed. It gives me a little thinking space after locking horns with a particularly difficult situation in the classroom. Washing something always helps center me. But still, I wonder why there is so much dirt always?

The kids aren't difficult on purpose. But they are normal and they all battle their wills the same as I. I love to see the struggle of them fighting to be heard and also giving up being heard. I love when I see the struggle, because then I know there is hope for learning. 

I was thinking about abundance this week. There has been an abundance of many things, not all of them fun. Like the foolishness of children throwing trash anyplace and setting up lunch tables in strange configurations. I have found spiders made with permanent marker printed on toilet paper rolls, made to look real by applying said spider under a few layers of toilet paper. It didn't work if it was supposed to scare me. Whole chunks of mud in the form of boot tracks have been trekked into the hallways and classrooms because it's that time of year and in Idaho there will be tough hiking boots worn in place of citified sneakers.

Abundance of messes, yes. But also abundance of hearts and souls. Those kids are the best mess makers but give me abundance of life by watching them work through their messes. 

I found a list of synonyms for abundance that made me think of instances. Let me see if I can show you what I mean.

Plentiful: Stories galore. They never quit telling them...
Copious: Body noises and descriptions. Colorful too...
Ample: Forgiveness at work all the time among themselves...
Profuse: Movement, jitters, rat a tat tat...
Rich: Fresh ideas...using a glue bottle for a pincushion.
Lavish: So much unpretentious love. "No big deal Dude, that you stepped on my toe".
Generous: "Here, you can use my paper" "I have lead for you" or "I'll help him study for a quiz"...

I used to think that the abundance in life meant a lot of clean, well organized thoughts and opinions. That it meant quiet and peaceful moments, thoughtful good behavior of people. Of course I didn't consciously think those things, but it was my expectations for how abundance should be.

I think now that abundance is finding that all those inconveniences are completely full and running over with what real love and serving looks like. Jesus isn't able to make a perfect person whole until they can see their own mess. He doesn't get to heal a person that thinks they are healthy. He can't work on someone that doesn't see they have need of Him. He wants us to find that it's only when we have to deal with messes and broken things that we will truly experience abundant life in Him.

So if you are tired of sweeping up mud for the 487th time, when you have to pick up a granola bar wrapper, string cheese wrapper, or empty baggie again, do it knowing you are experiencing abundant life. It's what it's all about when it comes right down to it.

How are you experiencing abundant life?