Every ice cream cone you eat is a race: you versus the melting ice cream.
On Wednesday, I lost the race when a drop of chocolate ice cream landed on my Carolina-blue shirt. Of course, I was devastated and used every means available to remove the evidence.
After all, this wasn't just any blue t-shirt. This t-shirt was purchased as part of a fundraiser to send my friend Hannah to eleven countries in eleven months through The World Race. Hannah is important to me, and I want to proudly wear her missions shirt to support her. I don't want it to have chocolate ice cream stains on it.
Wait just a second.
What's the shirt for? Hannah's mission work through The World Race. I wonder if she has Shout wipes in her pack. I wonder if she's going to come home unstained after visiting eleven countries in eleven months.
I doubt it.
Friends, God doesn't call us to look as nice as pristine as we can. We're called to get dirty.
Jesus got dirty: He washed sore, dusty feet. (See John 13:1-17)
Jesus got dirty: He spent His time with tax collectors. (See Matthew 9:9-13)
Jesus got dirty: He wept when His friend died. (See John 11:1-44)
Jesus got dirty: He touched lepers. (See Matthew 8:1-4)
Jesus got dirty: He spit on His own fingers to heal. (See Mark 7:32-35)
Jesus got dirty: He was whipped, mocked, and crucified. (See Luke 22:47-24:12)
Jesus got dirty; why don't we?
Do I care more about the chocolate stain on Hannah's Race shirt than the people she's going to be ministering to, loving, and serving? Of course not. At least not anymore.
PS: The stain washed out of my shirt, but I don't want this lesson to wash out of my heart.