Making a Mess

Victory! My team just finished an Amazing Race through the beautiful Mt Coo-tha Botanical Gardens. With my competitive spirit and love for the outdoors there are not many other ways I would rather spend my Saturday afternoon. Pleased and exhausted, I lay down in the sun to pray, and memories of all the previous times I had come to this place began to flood my mind. Over the past 18 months I must have come here on at least five separate occasions. During this time I have transformed and matured significantly, however, there is one thing about me that has been the same throughout: I realised that despite appearing composed, calm and joyful to my friends and family who have accompanied me on these days, on the inside my brain has been in a different place. On each of these days I have felt like a ‘mess,’ worried, challenged and confronted about one thing or the other. I offered this moment; these memories and thoughts, up to God. Why am I always worried about something? Why can’t I just be happy with where I am? Why am I ALWAYS a mess?

As the ‘mess’ ran rings around and around in my mind, I remembered the same word being used in a different light. I remembered Pope Francis telling us to make a mess, that God wants us to make a mess;

"Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."

God doesn’t want me to settle or to be complacent with where I am or what society tells me. God calls me to ‘mess up’ the realities I face every day in myself and in our world. As a wise friend of mine said, God expects us to ‘transcend societal expectations.’ We cannot be satisfied, or just accept what the world presents to us. We need to make a difference, to be the face of change in our world. And that starts in our minds.

In that moment of prayer I realised that this mess is exactly where God wants me to be. In fact, if I wasn’t a mess, if I was completely happy with where I was, if I was not feeling challenged or scared or out of my comfort zone, I would be ignoring His call in my life.

Lord I pray that I will never cease to make a mess, that I will continually seek your plan for my life. Give me the courage, the wisdom & the strength to step out of my comfort zone and be an illustration of St. Catherine of Siena’s teaching that; if I am who God calls me to be, I will set the world on fire.

The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others.” Evangelii Gaudium 10


This reflection was written by Karen, who likes carrots and ice-cream, but not at the same time. She was recently converted to the fine art of napping, and will take any opportunity she gets to curl up on a comfy couch.