It had been a tough week. One duckling got a kicked in the wrist playing football, the other one is struggling with homework, Mother Duck seemed to be buying things we didn’t need (don’t ask, I can’t remember any more), the house was filling up with boxes, we had to sell the car, Mega-corp is getting partly bought out by Really-Mega-corp and we got new software to get to grips with at work without proper training. I’m knackered and I’ve decided it’s been 5H-1T week. Just crap. And I’m gonna sulk.
Although, as Mother Duck quacks when I’m doing my best to be angry about something,
“You’re an adult. You can choose how to behave.”. Followed by me with,
“Yeah, just like when you .. grumble-mumble-mhhtebble .. “
Honestly, it’s like I’m a teenager again.
Everything in me just wanted to rant, rage, cuss and all the rest of it. The wind was blowing in my face, and it was coming from fan that just got the poop on it. You get the idea. The most irritating part of it all was that Mother Duck is right. She didn’t even have to say it to me. Damn words were ringing around my head during the bus the ride home. At some point I started thinking about how to craft all this bile into a half decent blog entry. When I found the word “manure”, the penny dropped and I found a route out of Poop Valley (Pop. 1).
I’ve been reading a book called “This Beautiful Mess“. If focusses on the paradox of God’s perfect kingdom being somehow present, now, in the middle of all mess we create and live in. It’s a weird concept, but seems to hold together somehow. Jesus didn’t wait until mankind had got it’s 5H-1T together before making an appearance as a baby. He arrived in the middle of it all. What kind of a Dad would leave his kid in a toilet and hope the cleaners look after him? That’s pretty much what God did although, without giving anything away, the story pretty much ends up happy-ever-after.
What I figured out is that, yes, I do have a choice of what to do with the manure in which I’m currently covered. I can sit there and stink, or .. and I’m quite pleased this thought stuck me .. I can let Jesus plant some seeds in the filth.
You see, Jesus gives many descriptions of His kingdom. One of them goes like this.
God’s kingdom is like what happens when a farmer scatters seed in a field. The farmer sleeps at night and is up and around during the day. Yet the seeds keep sprouting and growing, and he doesn’t understand how. It is the ground that makes the seeds sprout and grow into plants that produce grain. Then when harvest season comes and the grain is ripe, the farmer cuts it with a sickle. (Mark 4:26-29)
Since the soil of my life was well and truly fertilised, I resigned myself that I’d better put it to good use. If I’m going to be covered with fertiliser, I’d rather that there is something nice growing in it. With a wry smile, I gave Jesus permission to plant His seeds in the stink that seemed to be covering my life. Seeds of hope, life, love, purpose and maybe even joy. And now a few days later, the hassle of life, the manure, is still there. Little Duckling’s wrist is still aching and strapped up, the car is still sold and we’ve run out of puns for the new software tool at work. Amazingly though, through the dirt I can see the first few green shoots sprouting from what ever it was that got sown in me on the bus. I’m still tired, but I have hope and a purpose. The ducks still refuse to line up nicely, but I love them. I’ve turned my gaze off me and back towards the farmer.
He’s a nice guy.
I guess the further twist is that as the plants, flowers, grain or whatever mature and bear fruit, I need to sow the seeds from that fruit into the world around me. I don’t have to bang on about Jesus with every breath, but I guess I can flick out a couple of seeds every now and then. A kind word, mug of coffee, maybe even bending the rules at work in the customer’s favour once in a while. Everywhere we look in the world there is mess and manure. It’s a garden waiting to happen.