The manure slide

I live in a fairly agricultural area.  While I am not a farmer or a country girl by any definition of these terms, I do live within walking distance of several farms.  One of those farms has what my hubby has deemed a “poop slide.”  I don’t know exactly what the point of it is, but it is a giant mechanized slide down which the owner sends manure.  There are also some kind of retaining pools or something, which I assume are somehow related to the manure, but I don’t know how.

The point is this: when the slide is running, it stinks.  I didn’t grow up around farm animals, nor do I particularly want to live near them, so the manure smell sometimes makes me gag.  For some reason that I cannot explain, my backyard is sometimes stink-free, even when the front yard and house are full of manure scented fun.  So, this got me thinking.

The prayers of the saints are supposed to be like incense offered before the altar of God in Heaven and our gifts to the saints are a “sweet-smelling aroma.”  When we are out in the world we offer up the “aroma of Christ” to those around us, which is beautiful to some and rotten to others.  But, if we are continually offering up prayers that are a sweet aroma to the Lord, why does the world stink so badly?

Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment,
And cause it to give off a foul odor;
So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

We are told that we are not to conform to this world any longer, but are we really obeying this command?  Are we, as Christians, making sure to keep the “dead flies” out of the ointment?  Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  Ouch.  I don’t know about you, but that cuts me to the quick.

How much of my time is spent on worthless things, rather than things of God?  Do I really need more television (or do my kids)?  If I have one extra hour a day, should I watch (half of) a movie, or should I [clean house, spend time in prayer, read a book about marriage, talk to my husband, etc.]?  I choose other things far more often than I choose spending extra time with God.  I also frequently choose doing nothing (that is, I choose checking out what’s happening on Facebook) over doing something beneficial to me or to others.

I just wonder how different the world would be if I (we) chose to use our time differently.  How would my neighborhood be impacted if I went on a prayer walk instead of checking my email?  Do I really want the world to smell the aroma of Christ, or do I want to spend more time being entertained?  I know, some will say that you don’t have to choose between the two, that you can share Christ’s love with the world and watch a movie, but shouldn’t we choose the former more often?  I know I should.

So, I’ll end with this thought: “I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation, and I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas” (Leviticus 26:31).  I want God and everybody else to “smell the fragrance of my sweet aromas”, not the manure smell of the poop slide.  It’s time for me to do my part to rid the world of the “stench of folly” and the first step is to rid my life of it.


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