Embracing the Mess of the Fray


“When we find ourselves grousing about having so little time for ourselves, for being asked to do so much, let’s try to remind ourselves that that’s the way it’s supposed to be. God gave us our families to serve. We are being asked to give everything for our families. Indeed, we are being called to be modern heroes in our families and in our society.” – Stephen Gabriel, To Be A Father

Sometimes we look for peace and relief in all the wrong places. For many things, we just have to accept the fray of the world we live in. We have to find comfort in the mess and joy in the day-to-day struggle. Otherwise, we’ll be endlessly dissatisfied and stressed.

It’s like buying your own house and then only looking forward to the day when there are just no more things to fix or chores to do around it. That day just doesn’t come. We have to find some comfort in the unfinished work. This earthly life is a journey, not a destination or vacation. Yet we make the mistake of trying to turn it into one.

Find peace in the sweat of the journey. Only in such peace do we discover the presence of mind to really embrace the adventure and gift of the life before us.

We need to stop racing toward some hypothetical end all the time where we’re finally “all caught up”…only to realize at the end that we’ve missed the point entirely. All of the things we grumble about doing are most often precisely the things we should be doing. They are precisely the things we need for the journey. Don’t waste them. Embrace them.

11 comments Add comment

Bill June 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm

The grace is in the struggle, not in spite of it. Great post, Matt.

ceezpaul June 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

My prayer should be then: “Dear God, please help me to find comfort in the unfinished work, peace in the sweat of the journey & grace to stop racing toward some hypothetical end” – Amen!
Thank you for sharing this article.

Matthew Warner June 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Good one, Ceez! Love it.

Aaron Lee June 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

‘Find peace in the sweat of the journey’. I like this phrase of yours in this entry! It is like find silence in the midst of noise. Correct me if I’m wrong. God bless you Matthew. I’m glad to find this site!

Ceez Paul June 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

:) Glad you do. Keep writing.

Karen November 29, 2011 at 8:03 am

I love your posts. But, when I have given of myself the past 2 years while my husband works 7 days a week, is a handy man for everyone (my mom, neighbors, Church plus house projects, I haul up the rea with house, kids, apptmts…etc. My own personal health and work suffers and I stretch myself to the point of exhaustion to try to make life run smooth for him and his projects etc. So…while I think I have gained learning how to be humble and giving on this hamster wheel…I also have learned that if I don’t take care of myself…who will? I mean I know God will, but, he gave me a brain to know when to get my things done. Or else by professional work may end. We have bills to pay. So TODAY I am liberated to do what I have to do…the house is about to get real messy but maybe that will bring realization that I need to get my things done and be less cranky to boot:*) My family will realize the work here is more than they originally thought. God bless!

Matthew Warner November 29, 2011 at 8:15 am

Karen – in that way, taking care of yourself IS taking care of your family. No question about it. Just embrace the Mess of your house, too, and don’t worry! :-)

Karen November 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

Thanks Matthew…you R right:) God bless you!

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