It was cold outside, which is why the water line was frozen. I’m not sure why Dad needed our help, but my sister and I bundled up and trudged to the barn with him. I don’t remember helping much. I just remember being cold and bored.
The frozen water line was at the edge of the concrete slab outside the barn. The hogs were smarter than to be outside on such a nasty day. The one plus to the cold temperatures was that we didn’t have to slop through manure. It was frozen. I thought it wouldn’t be long before I was frozen, too.
Since I doubt Dad actually needed our help, I wonder if my sister and I were required to go outside with him for some type of punishment. I’m not sure, but I think having us invade his workspace was probably more punishment for him than us. He found small jobs for us to do, but he was focused on finding and fixing the problem. I’m not sure what the problem was, but I remember the water beginning to flow and make a mess as it mixed with and melted the manure. As we slopped through it, we created more of a mess.
I’m not sure how it started. My sister and I were standing fairly close to each other, and one of us slopped a little manure toward the other. We discreetly moved our boots through the manure, lifting up just enough to splash onto each other. We challenged each other with more sweeping kicks until we seemed to have the same thought at once. We dared each other with our eyes…then reached down simultaneously to scoop the poop and fling it at each other.
We both got in several throws and were smart enough to use the throw-and-duck technique to avoid as much as possible. As disgusting as it sounds, we were having a blast.
Until…I stood up with a large scoop ready to catapult and toward my sister right as her handful reached me. It was a high throw, and I was laughing, which meant my mouth was open, and…yes…bulls-eye! My sister claimed she didn’t intend to hit me in the face, but I’m not so sure. It wouldn’t have been so bad had I not had my mouth open…and hadn’t just had braces put on my teeth!
The whole pig poop fight probably only took three minutes. My dad was preoccupied (and we were sneaky) through most of it, but realizing I’d just been hit in the face with a pile of pig poop while he was trying to work was the last straw. We were sent directly to the house – to the backdoor – and instructed to immediately take showers and wash our clothes. Of course, the first stop for me was for a toothbrush and toothpaste. My teeth already hurt from my new braces, but I scrubbed I hard as I could stand!
The lesson of the day for me was this: If you’re going to play in poop, you’re going to eventually stink…and the entire experience will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
It started off as something to curb boredom. It was kind of funny. It was something to do. But we hadn’t thought through the possibilities. Never would I have imagined I’d be brushing my teeth in tears within ten minutes of laughing and playing.
When have you started something you never imagined would become the mess it became? When did a small choice end in a mess?
Stay out of the pig poop of life. It stinks and leaves a bad taste in your life.
This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:9-11