Moira made the announcement yesterday that we all needed to free up our afternoon today to clean out the garage. With Ezekiel's graduation reception tomorrow afternoon, and with the expected rain, we will need our garage clean "enough" (my word) to allow people to come inside if they would like. However, I know my clean "enough" is not the clean that Moira and Amy are talking about. Which is why I am not too excited about garage cleaning.
If your garage is anything like ours every shelf cleaned reveals how cluttered the shelf above it is. Every corner swept out reveals how dirty other areas are. All of this means when I THINK we are done and begin the wind down, others see it as a new beginning.
To the person walking into our garage you wouldn't think it is that bad. You've probably seen worse. You've definitely seen cleaner and better organized, but it's a garage, right? You expect a certain amount of oil spots on the floor, mouse droppings under shelves, and ball gloves left in places they were not intended.
Sometimes this is how we get with our lives. We play, as I like to call it, the "better than" game. My life isn't clutter free, it's a little dirty, but it's not the worst. I mean, I'm better than (insert your "worse than you" person here). Unfortunately for us lazy garage and life cleaners, that's not how it works. God is not about comparing ourselves to others. Our comparison is to the Son of God. And to that standard we always fall short. (Romans 3:23) And we know it, so we find the lowest bar and congratulate ourselves for getting over it. (Did you ever think that YOU might be someone else's lowest bar to hurdle?)
So what do we do with this? First of all, stop comparing yourself to other imperfect humans. The disciples of Jesus struggled with this, even comparing themselves to one another and arguing about which of them was the greatest. Jesus had to reprimand them several times as they traveled that these comparisons were foolish and greatness was found in humility. (Matthew 18 & 23; Mark 9; Luke 9 & 22)
Second of all, remember that God is always working in your life to make you more and more like His Son. He never tires of cleaning the clutter and dirt of the garage that is your life. Proverbs 3:11-12 states,
"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in."
God is constantly disciplining us (cleaning our garages) because He loves us and delights in us. He is not content to leave us as we are, but wants us to constantly be growing into the men and women He designed us to be.
And He never tires of getting to every corner or uncovering the next cluttered shelf.