This morning I gave my 2 year old a half-full cup of chocolate milk. Somehow I didn’t foresee this ending badly.
No more than 3 minutes after receiving the drink I hear Benjamin say, “Oooohhhhh. I make mess.” I came in to find the entire contents splattered across the floor–the floor of my in-laws beautiful beach condo.
There was absolutely nothing to do but take a deep breath and grab a roll of paper towels. I knew this outcome was possible when I handed the drink over to a feeble-handed toddler. But I made the choice anyway, and now it was time to pay the price for my decision.
As I glanced down at the spill I noticed the pattern was actually a great life-lesson. There’s the obvious centrally located mess–the area where the cup landed and the majority of the milk collected. But feet beyond that, the mess extended to the smallest of droplets, and even these tiny sticky specks have potential to cause problems if left unattended.
When you make a mistake, the damage isn’t confined to you and you alone. An unwise decision made in haste, a word spoken harshly, or a careless action. Look closely, people and things around you get splattered and careful clean-up is necessary.
When our words or actions lead to a mess, cleaning up that mess is the right thing to do. A responsible person recognizes their fault and how it affects people and things around them. A loving person finds ways to repair and restore whatever damage–no matter how large or small–occurred.
God hasn’t called us to a life of carelessness, but of self-control and sound mind. Paying careful attention to the full extent of the spill is necessary when cleaning up chocolate milk, and any mess in life.
Once you’ve done your clean-up duty, walk in freedom, because God didn’t call us to a life of fear, shame and guilt either. Which is why once the spill is clean, it’s clean! Glory to God!