I woke up recently to my daughter in great distress. The evening before we had cleaned her room and this included closing up the dollhouse to clean around it.
The next morning when she opened it back up, everything was out of place. She was in a panic to try and figure out where everything went and quickly realized that she could not remember exactly how everything fit. Thus, that morning included a complete meltdown.
In trying my hardest to be a good dad and to continue teaching her independence, I gently told her, “Baby, everything is going to fit – just be creative and use your imagination.”
About 30 minutes later, she came bouncing back in the room to proudly tell me that everything fit and it looked perfect, adding, “but some of the bathroom is in the kitchen and the outside furniture is everywhere in the house.”
But it all fit and this was most important.
It is so much like our lives, isn’t it? It seems like every week I have a spiritual meltdown in my soul and one of the things I cry out often is the same: It doesn’t all fit.
Sometimes it’s a new theological question or a piece of Scripture I seem to have discovered for the first time.
Other times, it is the chaos of a way-too-full pastoral calendar or an ethical question that does not resolve or even begin to have a simple answer.
Still other times, it might even be a sermon that seemed so simple early in the week that turned out to be anything but simple.
All of these can cause the spiritual meltdown.
And I think if I could just learn to quiet down in those moments, I would hear God gently whispering to me, “Beloved, everything that needs to can fit, just be creative and use your imagination.”
And isn’t that what Lent is really all about? This season we continue to journey toward the cross while reorganizing, de-cluttering, simplifying, sometimes even removing things in our souls – making sure there is room in there for God.
It is simply being creative, which is our first calling, and using our oft-neglected imagination to let God move in our souls.
And in the end, maybe it does not all make a lot of sense to us.
Maybe we are going to have our theological questions somehow resolved in the middle of the mess of church and a busy calendar.
Maybe the freshly found Scripture is the key to a question that is still to be discovered in your heart.
In other words, we might not have the furniture in the rooms as our minds understand the placement should be; but as I often remind myself, just because I think something is supposed to be a certain way, that’s no guarantee that God agrees.
Lent is time to rearrange, to use our creativity and imagination to see what all fits in our souls, and to discover in the end that it all fits and makes a wonderfully complete picture – a picture that we call Christlikeness.
Griff Martin is co-pastor of University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La.