That’s the classic fine print on the bottom of the box of many an electronic device!
This came to mind as a speaker at a recent gathering had trouble with his microphone. Every few sentences the sound would disappear and he would have to make a joke about it. It grew uncomfortable until he finally announced that it had a flashing battery symbol on the display when turned on. A cordless mic that was not checked before the event. A simple action that had a big impact.
There are many ways this could be used as an application to real life, but ‘messy’ is a good place to start.
The speaker commented on how this moment was just like discipleship, it could be messy. I like that metaphor. It also fit another word that came up frequently this evening: Community. There were plenty of references to how community was not easy, or could be disruptive. Messy sums it up well.
Church meetings are messy. Work groups are messy. Being a neighbour is messy.
Why is this all so messy?
- Diversity of individuals. We all come from a different place and are part of the values being formed.
- It requires investment. Each individual has to be part of what forms the community.
- Acceptance. We each need to accept the first 2 parts the person is willing into the group.
- Building trust. Trust is risked and proven with time and action. The other 3 can only continue with trust.
- Welcome. A true mark of community is its ability to provide a way in for those whom are invited or finding their way in.
Just like many aspects of life, batteries are not included. Assembly is required. And that can be messy…but worth it.