Posts Tagged ‘urgency’

     I was talking with a dear friend the other day and he related the following story to me. It seems that he was driving down a long country road on a very hot afternoon. The journey through the rural countryside would yield a home about every mile or so. He became expectant of seeing an, as yet to be seen, human. It seemed as if everyone had left the area when he noticed on the approaching hillside a fairly large frame house with the ever-present clothesline in the backyard.

Standing at the clothesline was a person doing what one usually does at a clothesline, hanging out the clothes that had been recently washed. She appeared to be about half through with her task. Many thoughts of his now lost childhood began to flood his mind.

A lazy summer afternoon, the high pasture grass begging for the next hay cutting, the air hot and moist as if your head were in an oven and the overwhelming fatigue that settles in just from struggling through such a day were all thoughts and feelings that began to invade his brain. Likewise, the ultimate pleasure of the day, finding a swimming hole to break the heat, became the dominant idea of survival for the moment.

He momentarily forgot the needs of the day; why he was traveling on this back road and the great hurry he had been experiencing to get the day accomplished. The tyranny of the urgent had just been jettisoned out the window as he slowed down, turned of the air-conditioner, opened his window and enjoyed the wind flying through his hair with the increased moisture forming on his body.

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he spied a small figure on the side of the road, near the driveway to a house. It was very dark in appearance, he could not make out exactly what it was, but it was moving. Caution brought him to slow his vehicle and watch the object, closely.

The figure seemed to be falling or jumping, he couldn’t be sure. As he drew near, he could hear screaming, but it didn’t seem to be hurtful, but rather extreme glee! What an odd, dark brown to black, figure that, now, he could tell for sure, was repeatedly jumping onto the earth while happily yelling!

He finally realized that he was witnessing a true release into the Kingdom of Heaven. Here was a young boy, about the age of 7, covered from head to toe in dark brown mud with only the whites of his eyes and teeth visible. The boy had achieved the ultimate ascent to joy and relaxation as he had found a “holy” mud-puddle!! He was wallowing and jumping in that mud-puddle in ways that would make most pigs quite proud!

“Oh!”, my friend with tears now in his eyes, cried. “How I remember those days, when my sole purpose in life was to find the next mud-puddle!”

We quietly, yet wide-eyed, looked at each other, both seminarians with many years of ‘learning’ and much life-experience under our belts, as we finally had our eyes opened with the impression his story had brought to us. The truth was that we had forgotten about mud-puddles. We had forgotten about the simple pleasures of life that brought so many fond memories of friends and family.

This was the memory of real koinonia, the fellowship of the family in the real church of Jesus Christ.

For moment, we both cried. Why must we make it so complicated and difficult? Why do we seek to live our lives based on differences, rather than everyone joying in being wonderfully, wet and muddy-brown as we find true unity in our mud-puddle?

I remember a line from the movie, “The Incredibles”, “If everyone is special, then no one is special.” Does the converse hold? If no one is special, then does everyone become special?

Perhaps, this is what our Christ was trying to say to us when He noted in the second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. Maybe, if I would focus on making my neighbor successful….well, I might just become successful.

What a thought from a mud-puddle. I think I am going see if I can find a mud-puddle in the 100 acre wood. I hope you can find you mud-puddle. Talk with you later.


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