All That Sticky Stuff
This fellow, a bull elk in Colorado has worn this tire around his neck for over 2 years. By the time he got released from it there was 35+ lbs of tire and extra dirt and debris stuck inside of the tire. Conservation officers have been trying to catch him for 2 years to remove this tire.
Earlier this month they got their chance. They tranquilized this fellow and attempted to cut the tire off. The steel belting in the tire outwitted the saw they brought so they had to remove his antlers to slide the tire off. Oh, Happy Day when he woke up so much lighter!
I looked at the picture and realized that is how many people, including me, walk around. We carry the weight of extra baggage, worries, anxieties and stuff that does not belong to us around with us. We get weighed down and life feels “heavy”.
I had another experience this week that added to my visual. I had gone down with Brian to the dugout to help turn on the water pump to fill up the cow’s drinking pool. As I neared the water the mud got stickier, thicker and sinkier and oh, so heavy. Each step I took the mud clung to my boots in greater and greater globs. I probably had an extra 5-10 lbs of mud stuck onto my boots. Then I got stuck in the mud, I was paralyzed, I could not go forward or back, I could not lift my boots up or out. I started laughing but that did nothing to move my boots. I used my hands to pull but to no avail. Brian thought this whole scene was hilarious but he did have to come over and help me pull my boots out of the mud so I could make a hasty retreat. I spent another 10 minutes trying to scrape the mud off my boots. Yuck!
Visualize the muck we wade in, the stress, the strains of life that can seem to cling to you just like the mud clung to my boots. You try to ward it all off, but it seems to get thicker, heavier. The more you want to stop thinking about it, the more your mind swirls around, tossing ideas, worries and the “what if’s” of your world ping ponging around inside of your head. It’s exhausting.
Then there was today. Great big letters on the can: Always Wear Gloves and Protective Eyewear. It was a spray foam can that I had picked up to spray around the cracks in the outhouse. I had spied a couple of droppings that looked suspiciously like mouse poop. So, there I was sitting on the floor of the outhouse, no gloves, and no protective eyewear – thinking I will be fine, I know what I am doing and if I remember rightly, the last time I tried it with gloves the gloves all stuck together, and it was horribly awkward. Totally ignoring the wonderful warnings that are there to help people, I was spraying it all over the cracks. The thing about spray foam is it sticks to you, just like my experience with the gloves. Without gloves let me tell you, get it on your skin, done, it’s like instant guck all over your hands and sticky! Some of my fingers threatened to stay stuck together and my hands are now a nice shade of grey where all the sticky picked up dirt before it hardened onto my skin. I have spent the evening trying to pick spray foam off my fingers. When I look in the mirror, I see a couple little specks right under my eye stuck onto my face. Nice!
Stuff that sticks to you, it’s everywhere. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we are walking around in a sticky world! People’s words and opinions stick to you. Your own perception of yourself sticks to you. If you have ever messed up something, the shame of that sticks to you. How do we get all this sticky stuff off us?
For myself, I can only find peace, and non-stickiness, when I am spending time in God’s presence, anything less causes me doubts, worry and sleeplessness. I have found I cannot spend all my time sitting in God’s presence either, it’s a tough way to get anything else done. What to do?
“I am the vine; you are the branches…” John 15:5
God has laid out an answer for us in the Bible in the Book of John. Branches grow in their own way, in their own direction and at their own pace, but they can never grow unless they are attached to the vine or the tree trunk. They must remain connected to the root system for it is the roots that send nutrients up into the vine and the vine sends it out to its branches. It can remain “close” because they are attached.
It is a clear statement and analogy – remain in the vine: remain close to God. Yet we are so busy, so distracted, so sticky, so uninterested that we do not take the time to remain close to God, yet the writing is there: “always wear gloves….” Or “always remain attached to the vine”. Are you like me, and chose to ignore the warning? I’m not sure how long it will take for this yuck to come off my hands (on day 3 now and they are still grey), and it sure feels uncomfortable, simply because I chose not to listen.
Oh, I supposed I could sue the spray foam company because the stuff they are selling is dangerous to a person’s skin. How silly would that be? They gave me a warning and it was on a couple places on the can, not just once. I chose to ignore them and thought I knew better, now I suffer the consequences, because I wanted to do it my way. If I am honest, do we not do this with many things in life? The warnings are there, but really could they be for me? I know what I am doing……
Many a good intentions started out with the saying, “I know what I am doing…”