Tuesday, May 24, 2011

one big poopy mess

Today is one of those days - the kind when your life feels like one big poopy mess. Maybe it's as of 10 a.m. today, I'd already had to clean up more of it than usual...

photo from Microsoft Clip Gallery
One of our toilets, ancient and averse to flushing properly, got backed up. Since I detest plunging the thing, I resorted to my usual fervent prayer of "Please God, let everything go down the drain, please don't let it back up, please don't let it overfl...." And cue the fall of poopy water and my hasty attempt to turn off the water, while simultaneously grabbing for towels. Ugh. Plunging would have been the wiser choice.

I spend the next 10 minutes thoroughly disinfecting the outside of the toilet and the surrounding floor. (Bonus: I found my husband's missing wedding ring that was tucked in a dark corner next to the cabinet. I felt the woman in Jesus' parable who found her missing coin.)

After hosing myself off and closing the bathroom door, I warned my three older children not to use the bathroom, changed Ben's diaper (more poop!) and then went into my room for a time out.

Ten minutes or so into my time out, I heard something that sounded vaguely like a toilet being flushed. It took two seconds for my brain to realize it was the toilet that was being flushed - the still poop-filled one. The one I was waiting to plunge. The one where I only half turned off the water supply.

And I ran down the hall yelling, "Noooooo" as Luke comes running out of the bathroom scared at the overflow of water he couldn't stop (in his rush to get to the nearest bathroom, he had forgotten my warning not to use that toilet). As I stared at an even bigger mess than before I couldn't help but yelling in frustration at the mess I would again need to clean up.

Bring on the towels and the bleach and the apologies to Luke that it was not his fault. It was mine, because I didn't shut off the water supply completely (I did turn it all the way off this time). It was my fault because I didn't plunge the toilet in the first place.

That's why today feels like such a mess. Because maybe it's God's way of calling attention to a few things I've been neglecting lately. Like using prayers as an excuse to avoid taking action He is clearly requiring of me. Actions which seem yucky and hard and might mean I get a little bit splashed back on me. And perhaps looking at things I am not completing. And reminding me that the actions I choose to take or ignore, do have an impact on those around me despite my attempts to convince myself otherwise.

But greater than the pain of realizing there are things which are hindering my walk with Him is the promise that God uses these moments to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace within me. Because He loves me. Because He wants to free me from everything that would hinder me from following after Him with my whole heart. And for that I am grateful. Because without life's poopy messes, how would we ever realize we need to come clean?

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