Why You Should Let One Thing Lead to Another

Why You Should Let One Thing Lead to Another - LisaNotes


Uncut, the watermelon sat on my counter for awhile. I would finally cut it, slice it into cubes, and eat on its deliciousness for days to come.

Except when I put the blade it, the cut let out a poof! Strange. I peeked delicately inside the watermelon instead of slashing in further.

It was rotten.

I put the whole thing in a plastic grocery bag. I placed it back on the kitchen counter. I’d take it to the outside trash later.

Except I forgot.

The next thing I know?

All my floors are mopped, the bar stools are showered down, even my bedroom dresser is cleaned and the bathtub is spotless.

How did this happen?

I only know this:

One thing always leads to another.

Sticky Begets Sticky

Hours after I’d cut into the rotten watermelon, we left the house for a dinner. When we returned, we discovered it had leaked out of the bag.

Watermelon juice was everywhere.

Graciously, Jeff offered to clean it up. I went to bed.

But the next morning, I walked into the kitchen. My foot stuck to the floor. The mess was larger than we knew.

Sticky begets sticky.

When we have a mess in our lives, we often attempt a quick cleanup. And sometimes that works. It’s no big deal.

Other times, a quick cover-up job is inadequate. We think the swift wipe-down is enough for now, to keep us from noticing the sticky spots. The urgency disappears. We can live with it. We settle.

Until we step in it again.

Problems can go deeper than we want to face. They can paralyze us. The cleanup required seems overwhelming.

Please, God?

We need more than ourselves.

Don’t Settle

The first step?

Ask for his help. Don’t go it alone.

Seeking God in our messes is always the right thing. Our messes can push us into new levels of faith, deeper levels of dependency on him.

Then let one thing lead to another.

Throw out the rotten watermelon. Get it out of your house. Grab a mop. Clean the counters. Wipe down the chairs.

Once we get rolling, God longs for us to keep the momentum going. He doesn’t want us to stop pursuing him just because one mess is cleaned up.

“Wherever there is true grace . . . there is a desire for more grace.”
– Matthew Henry

He wants us to continue walking with him. This step. Then the next one. Then the next one after that.

Clean Soul

Once I mopped away the watermelon juice from my kitchen floor, I decided I might as well mop the bathrooms, too. Then I noticed the tub was dirty, so I cleaned it, too. Next, the piles on my bedroom dresser were more noticeable, so I cleared the stuff away.

Before I realized it, the whole house had been cleaned.

One thing leads to another, if we let it.

And why should we let one thing lead to another?

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.”
– A.W. Tozer

Because God always has more for us.

  • More love.
  • More goodness.
  • More grace.

When momentum is rolling in the right direction, don’t stop it.

Just as sticky begets sticky, so grace begets grace.

Don’t settle for less.
Do the next thing.
Receive the next grace.

The next thing you know, your whole soul will feel clean.

“Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you.”
Ephesians 3:19 (ERV)

* * *

cut watermelon

The next watermelon was delicious!

What’s a mess you’ve had to clean up lately, literally or figuratively?
Do you tend to jump right in? Or first stand back to assess the situation?
Please share in the comments

26 thoughts on “Why You Should Let One Thing Lead to Another

  1. bekahcubed

    One of these days (maybe 20 years from now?), one thing will lead to another and my house will be clean. My most recent big mess was last week – our newest foster baby brought a stomach bug with her and we all got it, everywhere. I’ve used more bleach in the past week than I had the previous five years.

    I’m reminded that foster care is a messy business (in more ways than one). It may lead to getting sick, getting attached, experiencing loss, disrupting routines, losing sleep. The little choice to foster leads to a lot of other things. But it’s worth it, because it’s the choice to love.

    God loved us, and love begets love

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Beautifully stated, Bekah. Our next things may differ…your next thing may not be a clean house for now, but it is definitely a full house. Love begets love. Indeed. Keep spreading it.

  2. bill (cycleguy)

    Good thoughts Lisa. I am a firm believer in messes left alone make bigger messes. In the spiritual realm I think that is one of the biggest reasons for repentance. Clean the slate. Get rid of the garbage.

  3. Pam Ecrement

    What a great analogy, Lisa! I have had sticky stories that lead from one thing to another as well, but clearly your point about “more goodness, more love, and more grace” is so true. (I still hate to clean up the really sticky messes such as you describe and I have experienced.😞)

  4. Barbara Harper

    That’s so often the way with almost any kind of cleaning, it seems. Even a little touch-up somewhere makes me notice this, that, and the other that also needs to be done. Sometimes it’s nice to get it done, even if it’s not what I had planned. Sometimes I chafe at it. But I like what Floyd said about messes left alone making bigger messes – internally and eternally. When we have communion at church, I like to take as much time as needed to think and examine all the nooks and crannies, and most church services don’t allow that much quiet time. Our current church rotates the time of month we have communion so that the same people in children’s church don’t miss it every time. I’ve thought of asking the pastor to announce ahead of time when we’ll be having communion on a given Sunday. But, then, I tell myself my heart should be prepared whenever it comes up. And truly, I don’t just wait until communion to have those spiritual cleaning sessions – it’s just nice to especially do it then.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right about the speed of communion in many of our churches. Our church doesn’t typically allow much time either. Now and again they will, and it’s such a beautiful time to reflect a little deeper into those nooks and crannies that you mention.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Too bad messes can’t just clean up after themselves. 🙂 But instead they do tend to just get worse over time. Yes, that fact often prompts me to go ahead and clean up before it grows even larger.

  5. Beth

    What a wonderful metaphor–or should I say, metaphors–for what we need to do with our messy hearts, Lisa. When we leave one sin unaddressed it doesn’t just stay contained but impacts so many other things. And when we clean that one part up, we see so many other areas that need to be cleaned as well! I’ll be thinking about this truth all day today, my friend! Thanks so much!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It reminds me of mold growing in a house. It may start small and contained in one area, but left untreated, it spreads and spreads. Just the thought makes me want to go clean up something! 🙂

  6. Katrina Hamel

    This was a great illustration!
    This has encouraged me to take a look at the emotional and spiritual “messes” in my life I tend to sneak past and hope they’ll just get cleaned when I’m not looking. Thanks for your wise words!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know; it would be nice if our messes would just dissolve away on their own. 🙂 But unfortunately that rarely happens without a little elbow grease, both in our physical messes and our spiritual ones. Thanks for stopping by, Katrina.

  7. floyd samons

    Great real life analogy! It takes diligence to draw nigh unto Him. I like that you pointed out that once our mess is cleaned up the best way to keep it that way is to keep striving for Him.

    On another note; we’ve tossed more bad watermelons this year than any in recent years. Too ripe, not ripe enough… and I’m no slouch when it comes to pickin’ watermelons!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I wish I could you get to pick out watermelons for me, Floyd. I’m not very good at it. ha. My dad always grew watermelons and we’d eat whatever came out of the garden. But choosing them from a big bin in the grocery store is a different matter altogether.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t like the sticky part either, Crystal. Not figuratively OR literally. 🙂 Nothing will make me get up quicker to wash my hands than having sticky fingers. Would it be that I’d be so quick with my spiritual messes.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, God often gets my attention best in messy situations too, Mary. My mother taught me young to be uncomfortable with messes. It definitely applies in spiritual matters as well.

  8. Laura Thomas

    I’m sorry you had to deal with all the sticky, but what a great metaphor it provided! So very true, we are often tempted to brush the mess under the carpet rather than deal with the root of the issue. Great advice. And I’m glad your next watermelon was delicious! 😉 Stopping by from #momentsofhope

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m wishing today that I had another good watermelon. 🙂 I shopped at a different grocery store this weekend and they were all so expensive that I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. I bought grapes instead, but still haven’t washed them so they’re aging in my refrigerator. I guess there’s another lesson in that too: putting healthy things on the shelf doesn’t do us any good if we don’t eat them.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Lori. I picked up another watermelon today at the store and it felt soggy in my hands—that problem was easy to address (I put it back and didn’t buy it! ha). I wish all our problems were so easy. 🙂

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