Many years ago, after transferring my grocery bags into the trunk of my car I noticed the trash I had left in the cart. Deep down inside of me I heard these words, “Clean up your mess.” I picked up my trash and put it in a bag to dispose of when I got home.
Joyce Meyer taught me years prior to always put my shopping cart in the corral, even if it is pouring down rain, so that was not an issue. But as I headed for the cart corral I noticed another cart abandoned in the middle of the lot. I grabbed that one also and secured them both in the corral.
When I turned to walk back to my car that same inner voice came again, “What do you see?” I saw ORDER. My little section of the parking lot was orderly. At that moment I had an epiphany–a little order leads to a lot of order, but a little disorder can eventually lead to a lot of disorder. Let me explain.
If you continually walk past a piece of lint in your carpet, eventually there will be 30 pieces of lint in your carpet. A friend of mine wanted to stop over one evening and she had never been to my home. I was mortified because I was smack dab in the middle of a master bath and bedroom remodel. Everything from both of those rooms was in the living room. It didn’t have any order to it at all! But within two weeks it was all back where it belonged.
Shortly after that I was invited to her home. Every square inch was out of order. You couldn’t eat at the dinner table because it was stacked with papers. There was no room to sit on the couch because of the multitude of cat toys. There was clutter everywhere. I had this thought, this didn’t happen overnight. It started as a little disorder and led to a lot of disorder.
Disorder can happen in every arena of life. The average dress size for women in the United States used to be 12. As of 2021 is now between 16-18. When we don’t pay attention to the first 10 pounds of weight gain, it becomes 50 pounds. When we don’t pick up the lint or clean out the grocery cart, it bleeds to every area of life.
Order works the same way. If your car is a mess, start with that. Go to the carwash, wipe down the interior, vacuum the carpet and hang an air freshener from the rear view mirror. When you step back and admire your spiffed up ride, I am willing to bet it will prompt you to go home and clean out your closet.
A little order leads to a lot of order. But a little disorder leads to a lot of disorder.
Shortly after this “life lesson” I found myself teaching at a retreat in The Netherlands to a room full of women in church leadership positions. Guess what my topic was?
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little thing is dishonest and unjust also in much. Luke 16:10
Sometimes we become angry, upset, frustrated with a lack of movement or progression in our lives. I wonder how many times it can be traced back to grocery carts and lint in the carpet.