Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Lesson of Expelled Accumulation of Life

It could have easily become overwhelming this morning.  I hadn’t picked up Mussoorie’s poop since the last time we mowed.  (Late October?)  Her poop was littered all over the yard . . . accumulated and decomposing in varying degrees.  It was like walking through a land mine. 

I don’t know if you know this or not, but there is an art to picking up dog poop.  The easiest way is to take care of the smelly situation daily.  Once the poop begins to pile up, the task becomes arduous, overwhelming, and loathsome.  Upon having spotted the waste, you bend down on sure footing and weasel the shovel under the expelled accumulation of life.  It is helpful when several piles of poop are within 6 inches of each other or so.  This way you do not have to rise up from your stance, and you can move your shovel to eradicate more poop.  It is possible for the ground to release up to 5 droppings per shovel.  Much more than that the poop falls off the shovel and you have to start over again.

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Poop is poop.  There isn’t any nice poop or good smelling poop.  Some poop is more preferable to clean up, but it still remains poop.  It is something that one doesn’t want to touch or really interact with.  Once it has been processed we hope to flush it away forever.

Yet, it is a necessary part of life.  It is part of the bodily process that keeps us healthy.  But it isn’t pleasant.

if i had a choice of when to pick up poop, I’d take winter.  The poop is harder, rock solid.  But I don’t do clean up duty as often. 

When I pick up our dog’s poop I often ask. . . why me?  Why am I serving my dog?  I love my dog.  She is my constant companion that I trip on.  However, I am her master . . . I’m higher in the chain of command.  Yet I am stooping to pick up and take away her crap.

What made yesterday especially bad was that I discovered  Mussoorie’s  poop had traveled to the neighbor’s yard, rather she had chosen to defile another green space.  It tainted someone else's dormant grass. 

To top it all off, there were no short cuts.  I could try and scoop as much poop as I wanted to upon the shovel, but I still had to dump the poop in the woods.  Once my shovel was full, I played the game of balancing an egg poop on a spoon shovel to the woods behind our house.  It would have been easier to take a short cut over the deck, but the risk was far greater for me to incur bodily injury and soil myself due to there being a thin layer of ice on the wood structure. 

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God used this  absolutory necessary winter morning walk to the compost pile avoiding Mussie’s twice a day deposit that had accumulated, to work on my heart . . . to loosen up the “poop” or sin in my life.

God doesn’t just cleanse us when it is convenient . . . like me and Mussie’s poop.  Daily we can go to Jesus and get our sin shoveled away.  The great thing is that we don’t have to be in a P90x stance to successfully ask Jesus to forgive us.  We can be anywhere, doing anything, at any time. 

But God is faithful and fair. If we admit that we have sinned, He will forgive us our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure. (I John 1:9 NIRV)

What I love about God’s plan to keep us in communication with Him, to keep sin from acting as a barricade, is that there isn’t a trick.  I don’t have to say the perfect words.  I don’t have to be worried about asking for forgiveness for too many things . . . He doesn’t say, “Jodi, that is 5 poops.  I can’t fit any more things in my book under your name.  Come back tomorrow and maybe then we can get you all cleaned up.” 

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10 NIV)

Additionally, I don’t have to just hope that what I am doing will accomplish poop duty in my life.  A right relationship with God doesn't consist of me being a good person, going to church not once but twice a week (extra points, right?), wearing modest clothing, not eating pork, refraining from cuss words, fidelity, or showing self-control by not yelling at my children. 

The fact:  at some point I am going to fail to keep one of these golden values. 

Case in point.  Yesterday . . . I had pork.  I didn’t think about it until I had devoured a momo (pot sticker) that reminded me of being a missionary in India.  I cussed (in my head).  I spoke sharply to my children.  My mom even heard it . . . ask her.

The yard of my heart is cleaned through Jesus.  At any point in my day, I can know that God and I are in good standing BECAUSE of Jesus.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”(John 14:6)

While we are talking about sin, I know that it can sometimes be a comforting thing to compare your sin to someone sitting in jail or even Lafonda at church.  I hate to break it to you but just like poop is poop no matter whose bottom it comes out of, sin is sin. 

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

I admit, I would rather change a breastfed three month old baby’s diaper than Mr. Smiley’s 20 month old diaper.  Big difference.  Likewise, some sin is easier to deposit and trust Jesus to carry away.  It is easier to give God a shout out about mentally thinking a “choice” word than ask for forgiveness and help for speaking harshly to my children.

To stay healthy physically, mentally, spiritually I have to poop out my sins just like we all should be doing in the restroom daily before or after a meal.  (Sorry for the visual.)

I have also discovered that I go in spurts.  Summertime takes us out into the yard daily to play.  Mussie’s poop gets cleaned up almost hourly during hot weather.  But when the seasons change . . . I am not so faithful to keep the playing field free of brown stains.  The same is true in my own life.  If I am busy, sin accumulates.  So when I have some time to play with the Lord . . . it is hard to know where to begin . . . just like yesterday in Mussie’s yard. 

As I bent down multiple times yesterday, God gave me such a visual representation of what He does for me. 

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I heart my dog.  Part of being a responsible dog owner is to pick up her poop.  I put myself at risk of getting dirty to go outside and clean up the places where she spends her time.  God does the same thing for me.  He rolled up His sleeves, came down to the green earth, and scooped up poop approximately 2000 years ago.

God offers no short cuts.  There is one way to get us clean.  But the reality is that God didn’t use a shovel, He used His Son.  He got dirty.  It was like He scoped out the poop in our lives with His own hands (not a shovel) to make us clean. 

I am thankful that He is God.  I am not.  I didn’t get all of the poop cleaned up yesterday before  I had to come in and tend to my children.  But Jesus did clean up all of the poop while He was on the cross. 

God isn’t limited by time.  He has a big shovel that doesn’t accidentally dump your sin on your foot or in your neighbor’s toilet. 

Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)


He has taken our sins away from us
       as far as the east is from west. (Psalm 103:12)

Go do some poop duty!

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