It seems to me that almost everyone I have talked to lately has, at one time or another, found themselves in a big mess. No one wants to end up in a mess; it just simply happens as a result of being alive! I recently saw an office sign that said, “Bless this mess!” Every office and every person has their own mess! Truly all of us have been in circumstances and situations where we have felt overwhelmed. Life is not a smooth process.
Have you ever been sailing? I am no expert, but I know that when sailing, you do not travel the waters in a straight line. You move across the water in a “zig-zag” fashion. That process is called tacking. It is the process of turning the boat at different times in order to allow the wind to catch the sails and drive the boat in a specific direction for a period of time. Then the sails and rudder are adjusted so that the wind once again catches the sails and pushes the boat in a different direction. This “zig-zagging” pattern is continued until the final destination is reached. In the meantime, you have to deal with the “mess” of the water, the waves, the winds, unexpected turbulence and everything else that comes your way. It is just part of the journey.
Not to overstate the illustration, but airline pilots go through a similar process. Just this past week I was flying home from a speaking engagement and the pilot announced that there was a severe storm ahead that made it necessary for him to make a mid-course correction. He even mentioned the fact that we could see the storm off to the right side of the plane. He had to turn the airplane in a different direction in order for us to by-pass the storm. We could all feel the plane turning to the left. He explained that it would take a little bit longer to reach Atlanta, but I can assure you that all of the passengers were more than happy for him to change the course plans so that we did not have to experience a real mess!
Life is like that. We are often headed in one direction when circumstances and situations arise that cause us to adjust our course. The sudden interruptions of life, which all of us experience from time to time, force us to zig-zag our way to our intended goal. We need to recognize that is the pattern of life. Rather than getting frustrated, angry or bitter about it, why not simply go with the flow and learn the lesson life is trying to teach us?
Whatever has happened in your life has been to help make you a better person. The mess that you may be experiencing right now – RIGHT NOW – will one day become something that you talk about and perhaps even laugh about. Some of my deepest hurts and sorrows have become the very stories I have been able to share with others to help them through a difficult time in their own life. And the same will be true for you.
Let me encourage you, this week, in two ways: 1) Stay out of as many messes as possible. Stupidity in life is not required! May we all be as wise as possible, concerning every decision we make. 2) When we do discover that we have created a mess, or have become part of one, try to learn as much through that situation as possible. I would suggest that we let that specific situation become part of our life’s message to other people.
No one wants to know how great and perfect we are. But, everyone is willing to listen to our own personal experiences of how we struggled and failed along life’s way. It is helpful for them to hear how our “mess” became our message. It will be a blessing to others, and when all is said and done, isn’t that what life is all about?
Tip: My mess is my message!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm