Occasionally, I meet a mess that takes me wholly by surprise.
We've been carrying on with life around these parts, and unbeknownst to us, the cords behind the TV were multiplying. Now there are easily two dozen, and what all do they even do? Besides make a giant tangled mess that makes me want to throw things and kick the wall.
I breathe deep and begin the slow, mind-numbing, finger-stubbing work of demystifying these wires, and my mind wanders to entropy.
"Nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems."
Unless acted upon, all things in this universe start out organized and spiral into chaos, spinning out.
These cords obey this law of nature, spinning themselves out and seemingly spawning. They hide behind the bookcase and I never tend to them because I can't see them, don't interact with them. They do their job, I do mine, and we all go on our merry, spinning ways.
Until something goes wrong. And the magical internet man on the other end of the line says, "Ma'am, your modem was manufactured in 2005. I'd recommend getting a new one." And so here I sit, with this new modem made in this decade, and I meet my spun out wires and it's an awful mess. I unplug each one, pull them out straight, make mental notes of which goes where.
My mind wanders to my spiritual state as I pull each thread and I think, This is the why of daily maintenance. My soul, like these wires, tends from order to disorder, spins out unless acted upon. And it's why Jesus said, "Give us this day our daily bread" and not, "Provide for me my bread for the week." It's why each day's trouble is enough and why God's mercies come new every morning.
We require daily maintenance.
We cannot hide our souls behind the bookcase and expect everything to turn out fine.
We can't go about our daily doing, neverminding our hearts, and expect them to flourish as if they'd been pruned by hand, lovingly, carefully, steadily.
We abide by the law of entropy, and unless acted upon, we spin out.
I lay each wire carefully along its path, and I think how neglectful I am of my own soul, how stingy I am to feed it, how lazy I am to care for it. And the jumbled mess I started with? It is a reminder of how my heart looks when I ignore it, all confused and twisted and stuck.
I begin the task of plugging the cords back in and placing them carefully in order. They are neat and organized and simple. Ordered. They look fine... for now. But unless I act upon them, unless I tend to them, I will meet this mess again one day.
I'm not a neat freak when it comes to hidden wires, but I can't afford not to be a neat freak with my heart. I can't afford to leave it and let it be. I require the daily pruning of the Word. I require the daily love-shower of prayer. I require the daily still moment of God's clear presence because unless He acts upon me, I will slowly unravel, tangle, stall. I may not shrivel up or break, but I will stunt and cease to flower and fruit.
God made it this way for us. He knew the state of the universe, and He knows the state of our hearts. He knows we need Him and so He makes the way. He gives us the Word, and He gives us Jesus, the one who intercedes for us. And so He acts upon us, and so we flower, and so... and so we bring Him glory, daily, lovingly, carefully, steadily.