Our backyard is disgusting right now. It’s been a warmer-than-usual winter and, instead of snow, we’ve had rain. The result has been a very muddy yard. Oh, and also it’s where our dog goes to the bathroom and I haven’t cleaned up after him in…let’s just say it’s been far too long. Honestly, at this point, we’re just hoping he goes enough places that instead of a few patchy green spots this spring, the whole yard will be a lush landscape of beautifully green grass! 🙂
This has me thinking of a one of the most unusually blessings every given to me. I was with a cohort of young, Christian leaders in Houston, TX when one of our instructors said: may yesterday’s $#!^ become manure for your tomorrow. Now there’s an image. So too was Jeremy Troxler’s cleverly titled sermon, Manure Happens.
Indeed it does.
These days, I am (perhaps too) regularly thinking about manure-y things – and I’m speaking metaphorically here, not just about all the dirty diapers my wife (mostly my wife) and I change every day. I’m thinking more about the $#!^ that is happening in the world. There’s our $#!^-ty political climate and the $#!^-ty ways we treat one another and entrench ourselves with those who think and believe like we do. There’s our changing global climate and the $#!^-ty ways world ‘leaders’ talk down to a teenage girl who’s trying to right generations’ worth of wrongs. And then, on a more personal level, is the impending divorce within my United Methodist denomination that is $#!^-ty in so many painful ways.
May yesterday’s $#!^ become the manure for your tomorrow, I hear Marlon saying.
It’s crazy to me that poop can simultaneously be both ‘waste’ and also the catalyst for abundant life to emerge. A difference, it seems, is whether it is put to use, thrown away, or flushed down a toilet. I wonder how that might apply to the poopy parts of our world today? Of my world? Of yours? Or, how that might also apply to the poopy parts of your past, of mine?
Poop happens, but it doesn’t stick around forever. It gets flushed away, thrown in the trash, or disappears into the ground in places unknown until spring comes. Or it can be intentionally and purposefully put to use for a more flourishing tomorrow.
$#!^ happens all the time. The question is: what are you going to do with it?
May today’s $#!^ become the manure for a better tomorrow. Thanks be to the God of the Cross who turns Dark Yesterdays into Bright Tomorrows, and who carves out Tunnels of Hope through Mountains of Despair. Amen.