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Dirty manger? That's O.K. (Day 14, Proverbs)

Proverbs 14:4
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

I fretted all weekend about having a messy house.

I’m really not OCD. But calm and clutter don’t mix with me. I breathe deeper in a clean, uncluttered living space.

Yet when I weighed dusting and vacuuming against visiting with friends and dinner out with my husband, the house fell short.

So Proverbs 14:4 has always been important. It helps me balance my need for clean against my need for people. After all, it is usually people that cause messes—both physically and emotionally.

But if I want a healthy spiritual life (“abundant crops”), which I do, I need other people (“oxen”) to live it with. Even if it means things get messy from time to time. Conflicts, distractions, egos—all come with the territory.

But also come parties, pleasures, laughter, strength. They make living with a somewhat messy house, car, life, worth it.

When we got home Sunday night after Life Talk, I knew it was time. The benefits of a clean house would outweigh Monday morning frustration of starting a week with a mess. So we divvied up the duties and knocked it out.

Now the house is free to start getting dirty all over again. I can live with that. My manger may not stay as clean as I’d like, as often as I’d like, but the abundant crops that grow there make it a happy place to be.


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