As a gardener and dog owner poop is part of life.
In fact, stepping in poop is part of my daily life. I step in dog poop, chicken poop, or I don’t even want to know whose poop it is poop nearly every day. Sometimes several times in a day.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much we clean up nor how careful I am in walking around: I’m in the poop. In fact, I step in it so frequently that I’m an expert at getting the poop off of the bottom of my shoes. I could do a PhD in it.
It’s Good to be in the Poop
Everyone who gardens knows that being around poop is part of growing your own food. I amend my soil with worm castings (poop) and chicken manure (poop). Plants in our aquaponics are fed by– you guessed it– fish poop.
If I’m not stepping in it or cleaning it up then I’m moving it around or putting it in the garden.
As a gardener you get comfortable with poop because it’s part of running an effective garden. Sure, we don’t take many pictures of poop. But all the fruits, veggies, and flowers that people like to take pictures of– fueled by poop.
Being in and around the poop is a sign that you are doing something. That you’re being productive. In a way, being in and around poop is proof you’re in and around where the action actually happens.
The Sterile Unproductive Life
When I go to a grocery store or even the farmers market I kind of laugh at the sterility of it all. Beef is in neat little packages as if the cow didn’t step in it’s own poop or pee on itself multiple times a day. We open a carton of eggs to make sure none are broken, but you won’t see chicken poop on an egg at the grocery store… something I experience several times a week. All of the fruits and veggies have been washed, poop removed. As if celery or lettuce or strawberries weren’t planted in a field fed with manure.
If working in the garden and getting poop on your shoes is close to the production of food than walking around your grocery store is the exact opposite of that.
Maybe that’s what you want? Maybe not?
But one thing is for certain… if you buy your food exclusively at a grocery store and then pretend to be a farmer everyone will know you’re a fraud. We all know that someone who produces food gets their feet dirty. They might like things sterile, but they’ll always have a little bit on their shoes.
I’ve never been to a country music festival but I would imagine there’s a term to describe people who actually live the farm lifestyle and those who just dress up like they do because they like the music. Am I right?
The Messy, Productive Life
Let’s shift from thinking about the garden to thinking about the Christian life.
There are Christians who are out doing the work in the field. Just like a farmer you know these people because it seems like they are always stepping into a mess.
Likewise, there are a lot of people who like to dress up like a productive Christian but who live a fairly sterile life.
Just like at the country music festival those people think they fit in but they stick out like a sore thumb.
People Smell Right Through It
The other day I had a little Facebook back and forth with a Facebook friend about people not going to church because they don’t want to be confronted with the truth.
My current experience is the opposite. I have far more people in my life that are not part of a church, even if they are believers, because they don’t see the church as having honest answers for contemporary society. They look at the movement and see something sterile, far too clean to be interesting. High on the hog opinions but no relevant experience to know that those opinions carry no weight in a society that has largely moved on.
In an Age of Fake, How do I live as a True Christian?
Yesterday, I was meditatin’ on this question: “If everyone thinks Christians are being fake, how do I be real?”
And along the way I was reminded of the second half of Romans 12, something I memorized a long time ago that bubbles to the top a lot in my life.
And there it was– right in the ESV– the headline for verses 9-21: Marks of a True Christian
Oh baby. Here we go. I’ve added two sub-headers for you to chew on.
Adam asks: Who Am I Supposed to Be Right Now?
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Adam Asks: What am I supposed to be doing?
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[b] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[c] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
My advice: If you don’t want to be accused of being fake, get in the mess, get some poop on your shoes.