The youth minister of my church gave the message on Sunday. His name is Chris Baxter and the title of his talk (they don’t like to call it a sermon) was “So Easy Chris Baxter Can Do It.” Right off the top, one of the things he shared is that he is a “hot mess.”
I’ve watched Chris minister to our kids for years. He’s one cool dude and the kids love him. I’m not totally clear on what that phrase “hot mess,” means, but in the context of his speech and in the vernacular of a fifty-eight- year-old mother who grew up in the sixties, I think he’s saying he doesn’t have it all together.
Other parents were probably a little worried about that admission. After all he’s responsible for taking a bunch of our teenagers on social outings and mission trips. He runs the youth group as well as prayer groups in several schools. I, on the other hand, felt a strong twinge of relief which I masked by looking somber and attentive during his message. I hope. My thought is this: If the youth minister isn’t a Christian who never messes up, no one can expect someone like me to get it right all the time either.
Or even some of the time. There are days when I wonder how God puts up with me. I’m surly and impatient with healthcare providers. I snap at my husband. I grouse about traffic even though I’m retired and not in any big hurry to get some place. I struggle to model Christian behavior for my children. I admit it. I am not a perfect Christian. Sometimes I forget to pray and instead, I wallow in my pity party. God must be heartbroken at my inability to come to Him first when I’m hurt and scared and in need of comfort. He must wonder how long it will take for me to get it all together. Undoubtedly I qualify as “hot mess” numero uno.
At least that’s what Satan whispers in my ear. The truth is God waits for us to run to him. He delights in us every time we draw closer to Him with repentance and seek his grace. His grace is endless, endless, endless. He is like a parent waiting for that split second in which he can say, “Yah, good job, my child, good job. Come, let me hold your right hand and help you walk across that tightrope over your deep canyon of fear and agony.”
Chris suggested we must do two things: First, read and obey God’s word. Second, pray. Do those two things and we will draw closer to the Lord. We’ll never be perfect because we are sinful humans living in a fallen world, but we will become more like Him and in that moment, find comfort, peace, and joy. And in that new intimacy, we’ll hear God’s calling. We’ll draw closer and He will show us the way.
Peace and joy, folks, peace and joy.