Life is Messy

In Team, Theology, Thoughts
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I started writing this post the other year but never for some reason finished it probably because life got busy and messy.
Since I started writing this I became a father to a very cute little girl who is nearly 14 months old. Now I’m not a tidy person by any means, our house is not spotless and there is generally washing up that needs doing. Now if you have you have ever looked after young children you will probably understand the scene. You walk out the living room to go to the kitchen upon returning the fairly tidy living room is no more as the child has pulled toys out all over the floor, or in fact anything that you don’t want them to touch. One such box my daughter likes pulling things out of is the burning box. This box is a cardboard box full of newspapers and card ready to be burnt in the wood burning stove. She loves pulling the paper out and placing them all over the floor making the living room messy!

Life IS MeSsY!

This post started out from a conversation I had with a friend over lunch as we discussed how life was messy. I am going to be honest and open and say that my LIFE IS MESSY! No matter how well we plan stuff life is never simple. My job means I work away a lot and generally travel a lot for work. I can leave home at 6:30 am and arrive back home at 6:30pm. With a young daughter my wife is the one who tends to drop her off at our awesome child minder and collect her at the end of the day. My wife recently broke a bone in her foot which meant the rather semi organised plan we have about how the week happens changed. It became Messy. My plan of being in the office changed and meant I worked from home for a few days. It meant that we had to change when we dropped our daughter. It still also means changes for a while, whist the bone heals my wife is not meant to drive, which means working out ways for her to get to work.

If you run or have ever run a church tech team there will be times when you have loads on team and then there are times when you ended up running everything by yourself.

Due to my job and not having a stable this is where I am each week life is a fair bit messy. There are times last year where I filled in the sound rota for when I was around and then ended up with needing to be away with work meaning I had to pull out of serving on a rota’d Sunday and ask for cover. I attend a cell group and at times am barely around at that. It is not that I don’t want to be around, but as a friend reminded your me LIFE IS MESSY!

Don’t get too comfy!

My wife LOVES IKEA and was very excited when IKEA opened a new store in Sheffield. At the time of opening we were decorating our living room and decided to look at getting some new sofas. I’m guessing most of you have at some point been shopping for a sofa. One thing I love about sofa shopping, and even going to IKEA is trying them out. I tend to like a sofa that you can sink into so when you are tired and worn out. I like a fairly high back and a deepish seat but not too deep that your feet don’t touch the ground. Most importantly it needs to be comfy. The issue is life is not like a sofa!

Throughout my life I have had times when life feels comfy, everything is good, and each week has a similar routine, but then there are times when life is hectic. During the hectic and un-comfy times life feels messy, you don’t know where you are and where you are going, it feels like the comfy sofa has been removed and exchanged for an old church pew. The thing is a sofa has room for several people to sit on, that’s only if you’re not lying down…

Your team is messy!

“Maybe living the unprotected life is what it means to be a Christian?”

A while ago I read a book called Chasing Francis. The book is about a pastor (Chase) of a mega church who falls apart and starts questioning things. The book follows Chase as he travels to Italy and partakes in a pilgrimage. The book, albeit a story, takes the reader on a journey of challenge and discovery. During the journey Chase is challenged in his faith and on what he believes.

The above quote from the book brings the idea that being a Christian and following God is to live an unprotected life, a life that is messy, dirty, and un-comfy. Unfortunately, being a Christian means that life will never just be simple and clean cut. Jesus makes a simple request to us all, to follow him. If you apply this thinking to your tech team then however big your team is, it will never be easy. Each of the people in the tech team is on a different journey although similar in parts.

Personally, I feel at times guilty when I can’t serve, at church or even just be at church I feel like I should be serving and playing my part in the team. The reality is we live in a world where fortunately and unfortunately, it’s becoming much more 24/7, fully connected. There was a time when Sunday working would never have been accepted now it’s more like when are the shops shut rather than when are they open.

Back to the sofa

So, what am I trying to say as at the moment I feel my mind is full of thoughts and I’ve just written a lot of random thoughts…

Well the first is that LIFE IS MESSY! I think that has hopefully been clear, from the title of this post. Whether you think you have it sorted or not Life is Messy. Messy is not bad it’s just different, not everyone can do messy,

Second is your tech team is MESSY. Whether you’re reading this as a volunteer or the tech leader, the team will be messy. The time when you did the same job for your whole working life is no more and the same is for your tech team. Tech teams will evolve and change and at times they may feel messy when your short of team, or you have trainee techs.

Thirdly, when life is messy don’t give up. As my wife’s school motto says, ‘Never Stop Flying’, don’t give up. You may need to take a break for a while whilst you work out where life is taking you, but God has the plan and knows the route, just follow him.

Fourthly and finally, use that sofa, you may not have a beach you can walk down and see footprints in the sand, but you have a sofa. When things seem messy and life is tough give it to HIM. The more you try and do things yourself the harder it is. If your leading the techs at your church and your team is in a rough patch of low numbers and your feeling over worked, ask for strength. He won’t let you down; neither will he let the team struggle.

Life is messy – Gods got it sorted.

Anthony Lear

Anthony lives in Sheffield with his wife Fiona and daughter Naomi. He works for Hawthorn within the event projects team as a Project technician focusing on Video. Anthony is the founder of Church Tech UK, an initiative designed to support, develop and equip those that work and volunteer within a technical capacity in UK Churches.

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