What I’ve found in my life recently is that I most treasure my circle of friends. We give each other the freedom to be, to be real. We’ve found that peoples views, both worldly and churched, are all too often to set us a little higher in expectations, which is all fine and well since we are to be set apart. The problem with that comes when the expectations are such that we aren’t considered “like everyone else”, we aren’t “human”.
The reality is we are human. We have emotions and feelings just like the next person. Oh yes, we believe in our mighty God and we know that it is He who will see us through the trials and tribulations in our lives, but we do fail, we do feel, we do express ourselves in the moment.
My friend had a bad day this week. It was more than a bad day, it was a horrific day. I cannot begin to imagine the surge of emotions or feelings that are racing through her at this moment. I cannot sympathize with her, I can only empathize.
A few of us got her a card, well two actually. One was rather serious and the other was funny. The funny card was of a dog and stated, “sorry you’re having a poopy day”. True to my comedian self, I signed it, “you gotta love shit”. Now before you throw your hand over your mouth and gasp, let’s think about the reality here. That is NOT a word I use in my daily vocabulary, however I knew it would make her smile. Because of this fact, I chose to use it. However, I will from this point forward refer to that word throughout the remainder of this blog as poop.
We all have poopy days. We’ve all seen the bumper stickers announcing to the driver behind them, “poop happens”, as if the driver behind them was oblivious to this fact in their own life. But as I was thinking about the true meaning of what I wrote it hit me… like when I was walking, digging through my purse for my car keys and ran smack into a handicap sign. DUH!!! It’s what we do with the poop that happens in our lives that will determine how we cope with it being there in the first place.
For centuries poop has been used to fertilize and cultivate living, breathing, growing plants. Poop is spread on or worked into soil to increase its capacity to support growth. It also greatly increases the productivity of the soil. If you look up the word manure, aka: poop, you will find that its origin as a fertilizer goes back to the 1400’s. Impressive – no major technology and still they knew than that poop makes things grow. When I looked the word up on dictionary.com it gave several quotes referencing manure to our own lives. One quote was by Milton in 1641 (not sure who that is off top my head but obviously someone of great importance and well respected)…
“It is… his own painful study… that manures and improves his ministerial gifts.”
John 15:5 states, “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”
Even the scripture refers to us as plants (figuratively) and plants need poop, it’s that simple. When poop happens in our lives, do we quickly want to scoop it away or do we use it as fertilizer? Why do you think in Psalms that David said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”? Even Elijah, when escaping to the desert, asked God to take him now. We are going to have to deal with poop in our lives, but are we using it as fertilizer it when it lands in our laps? So long as we keep our eyes on the One who helps us, we will produce the fruit He has called us to produce.
It doesn’t mean that we are not going to feel and express ourselves while the poop is happening. After all, cultivate means to dig and if I’m digging around inside myself I can tell you now, it’s not going to feel so nice; it’s going to hurt. The reality is, it will come out in that moment, and that’s okay. It’s okay that we express our feelings, live in our emotions in that moment, to actually be human and feel the poop falling all over us at the moment… we’re going to react and it’s okay.
People become concerned that we stay in our emotions longer than we should, which is a valid point. However, I’m not one that wants to be walking through life with the same poop on me, day in and day out. But I do believe it’s the poop in our lives that we learn from. It’s the poop that takes us to the next level, the next season, and the new beginnings. Sometimes it may mean that our friends will have to help us cultivate it but we will grow from having the poop happen to us, all while leaning on the One Who is, Who was, and Who will always be.
Poopy days come and poopy days go… either way you look at it, poop happens!