Last night, like every Sunday night, we had UMY (United Methodist Youth). What is that, you may ask? It’s our weekly church gathering of 6th-12th graders. We eat dinner, play games, have small group bible study time, and in general hang out. It’s 2 hours of craziness and I often feel like I’m standing in the middle of a whirlwind trying to control the direction it’s blowing. Lately our group has grown from about 20-30 a week to 40-50 a week. Which is awesome! We’ve had to do some adjusting to make that work. Which means my organized and decorated youth rooms got dismantled and we’re still working on re-mantling them in a way that makes sense for us. We’ve been doing some projects to get the rooms up to snuff (let me know if you want to help with that! I’ve got 2 booths and 2 tables that need painting!) and we’re making it work.
By the time the students leave we are looking at a pretty serious mess. Luckily I’m blessed with some seriously amazing volunteers who always stay behind to discuss how the evening went and help me clean up. But I’m still the last one out the door (as it should be…not complaining at all!) and I always have things that I need to tackle on Monday morning. Usually those things are piled up on my desk staring at me accusingly until I stop ignoring them and get down to work. There are papers that need to be filed, papers that need to be copied, checks that need to be deposited (we are always registering for something it seems), emails that need to be answered, things that need to be put away, attendance that needs to be marked and copied. Last week I panicked because I thought there was paint on the floor from a project we are working on. Luckily turned out to be a mushed M&M.
I don’t enjoy the mess. I am not a messy type of person. I like things picked up, filed, and organized. That fact makes me something of an oddball in youth ministry (although most of the people I know are at least somewhat organized) but it’s the best way for me to function. For me a messy space= a messy brain and I need all the help I can get in keeping my brain straight. So no mess please and thank you. But there’s something about my messy youth room that makes me smile. Even something about the panic of cleaning paint/chocolate off the floor BEFORE ANYONE KNOWS. Having a jumble of chairs and having to move things around fills me with love because it means we are making room for more of God’s people. Cleaning the floor and washing out paint brushes fills me with joy because it means that we have lived in this space. Picking up bibles and pencils and putting them away fills me with peace because it means teenagers got out their bibles and used them!
I don’t know what your Monday mess looks like today. Maybe piles of dirty clothes and baby bottles. Maybe it’s paperwork and emails. Maybe it’s kids coming back to a classroom. Maybe it isn’t a literal pile at all but is instead a mental pile of worries and anxieties about money, loved ones, or life choices. I don’t know what your Monday morning mess looks like but I do know that God is at work in it. I know that He is moving in this world and in your life. I pray that you find love, joy, and peace in your messy Monday. If not today then a Monday in the future. I promise not all Monday’s will be quite so messy. I promise you are not alone in your piles of work and problems. Today I will say a prayer for you and I will look forward to the way God will turn messy into blessing for you. Monday mornings are messy but they don’t last forever. May your day be blessed.