Stuff gets dirty. It’s inevitable. It’s a fact of life.
And it seems sometimes that, the more I get involved with people, the more messy it can get to serve and love and care for through the reality of this jacked up life.
It seems to me that you don’t walk with someone through addiction with genuine compassion without any temptation to the addiction – whether in the same issues or in alternate equivalents.
And even if it’s not the stuff you’re trying to help others deal with, the world is really like a cesspool of swirling mess. Unless you never look at people, you will see stuff and hear stuff and even touch stuff that is not good for your spiritual condition. It is inevitable.
But what do we do about it? Were the monks onto something when they moved off to the wilderness to close themselves off from society? Are we supposed to so insulate ourselves from the wickedness of society that we cannot be polluted by it?
But wait…manipulation and fear and greed and perversion seem to be just as present in the isolationist cultures as they are in the world at large. What are we to do?
It’s a lot simpler than I think we may realize.
David taught us in his beautiful acrostic poem, Psalm 119, with a simple question and an even simpler answer:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to [God’s] word.Psalm 119.9
Maybe it’s time as followers of Jesus to deliberately increase our intake of God’s Word. It’s kind of funny (in a sad sort of way) that we wonder why we have a hard time figuring out what God is trying to tell us but we don’t have a steady diet of God’s Word. In fact, if we’re honest, we take in so much other stuff that we just don’t have much space for the Bible.
In other words, it’s time to step into a continuous rinse of our lives by the power of the Scriptures.
How can you do that today? How can you stay under the stream that helps rinse away the inevitable crud of this world?
Maybe it’s as simple as listening to Scripture as you drive or choosing a passage to meditate on and memorize and looking back over it every hour. Maybe it’s as simple as setting a reminder on your phone to pause at regular intervals to take a bite of the Word.
The world is messy. We need a continuous rinse.