And it happens a lot. If it rains long enough or hard enough, or both, and if you're at the right place at the right time, it will happen. there will be mud. Seriously, what's one to do?
Rob, our three kids, and I recently moved to Sabine Creek Ranch to help start a new ministry called SEGUE. [SEGUE is two-fold : 1) We are helping young adults transition from where they are to where God desires them to be through a 9 month "Gap Year" experience that involves discipleship, worship & missions as we all minister to 2) refugees who have been relocated to Dallas Texas from all over the world by the United Nations, and help them transition to this new life.] I'm a city-girl, so living on the ranch has been quite educational for me in so many ways, but especially when it comes to "mud-avoidance". The first day we arrived at the ranch, my friend gave bright yellow John Deer shirts to my 3 kids which read, "There will be mud!". Cute and fun. That's all I thought. I had no idea there was a deep ancient truth that spoke through those shirts, nor did I know that this truth would try to change me.
Over the next few weeks, I would fall apart on the inside every time my children walked out the door, knowing that no matter what they did, they would come back in the house with the dark, black North Texas mud that surrounds us. I created almost a "Border Patrol" feel at the back door to ensure no mud would enter the house. I have been through an ungodly amount of Shout stain removal, gallons and gallons of clothes detergent, and most people that come by notice that my washing machine is always running. I have supplied rubber boots for my entire family that stay by the back door, which are to be taken off BEFORE entering, and there is an in-depth inspection that takes place before crossing over.
But this is tiring. And truly, a hopeless battle. Those bright yellow shirts that were presented only 8 weeks ago to my kids are dingy with faded mud spots carelessly splotched all over the front and back. I am growing feeble of "patrolling" the back door, and the boots are wearing out fast. There are some places I cannot allow mud to go, but I am softening on other places. I know that mud is actually a good thing for many situations. I know that nothing could replace the fact that my kids are running and playing and romping and roaming with their Davy Crockett and Batman gear on, or just simply digging the deepest mud-hole around. This is good.
I guess I kind of see it like this - we can either try to avoid the mud over and over and over again, working effortlessly to stay "clean and stain free", or... we can let it change us. I am not talking about mud=sin. Just talking about what life brings - some of those situations that are just dark, black mud. It stains. It even kind of stinks, but it does something to us when we just go ahead and receive it, learn from it, and even suspect that God might be the one who brought it.
I think He likes mud. He used it to heal a blind man. The blind man allowed the mud to go somewhere I don't think I would be very welcoming to at all... his eyes! Yet, he was wiser than I, and received it. I know, he probably didn't know Jesus was making mud for his eyes, because he could not see at that point. Kind of like me a few weeks ago. But God makes the mud anyway, and then he lets us choose what we will do with the mud. I want to be healed of any thing that is blinding to me. I want to be free of attitudes and thoughts that hinder my perception. I don't want to be a stick in the mud. I want to see mud the way God sees mud. It's actually a tool of change. So, I now say.........
Let there be mud.