Monday, September 16, 2013

The Daily Battle Against Entropy In My Home

I should have known better.

I should have known not to serve spaghetti right after a bath.

I should have known that one child would create "spaghetti jewelry" while the other would design a "spaghetti catapult."

I should have known that the law of entropy is always at work, especially in a home with children.

And I should have been okay with it.

I first learned about this law in my High School AP Chemistry class.   Science calls it entropy.  The Bible calls it The Fall.  Both describe the same thing-- everything is moving from order to disorder, and my home is full of evidence.  So much evidence of "entropy," -- order to disorder -- that sometimes, I question why I do things in the first place.  

By noon I am hovered over dirty dishes piled high in a sink that was spotless that morning.  I am down on the floor wiping more spaghetti off the floor that was mopped only hours prior.   I painstakingly make specialized meals to feed to my daughter who will vomit them within minutes.   The weeds in the flowerbed keep coming back and the shower floor never stays spotless, and I bathe my children and scrub away the dirt and carefully treat stains in their clothes, knowing that before day's end those same shirts will sit, stained and crumpled, on top of the laundry pile.  While I am cleaning up one mess, my son is creating a new one.  At night I pick up Legos and return toys to their proper places and straighten pillows while children sleep soundly, and I wonder if it's worth it.  Because within a few hours, my work will be "undone."

There are days when I want the world to freeze just so I can enjoy my work for a few minutes before life takes over and it is undone.  And there are days when I struggle with anger towards my children, because how dare they create a mess where I long to create beauty?

Nothing stays clean forever.  No child remains fed forever. No job is once-and-done.

I live in a world where I battle both entropy, and the decaying effects of sin.  It's a physical battle of my work coming "undone," but it's also a battle in my mind --  if this is just going to get dirty again, if she's just going to vomit it again, if my hard work doesn't last for more than a few minutes -- is it really worth it?

And in the midst of the chaos and new messes, I know the answer.  YES, it is worth it.  YES, persevere.

Because it's new dirt.

And it's a new meal.

And it's a different mess. 

And it's a different day.

And every time I scrub the same pan, wipe the same floor, clean the same toilet, bathe the same child...every time I restore order to disorder, fully knowing that it will not last for long, I am choosing to value redemption.  Each time, my battle cry is this: sin will not reign in this home. 

When I do the same things over and over each day -- bathe, feed, clean, teach, train -- I affirm that God is redeeming all things.  I am declaring to the world that the Gospel will win and the King will reign -- and so I will continue to make all things new in my home.

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