Crap has really been on my mind this week.
First of all, toilet water backed up into my bathtub. When I saw the brown water, I knew I had a problem and I suspected it was time to get my sewer line cleaned out. Because I have an old house with underground clay tiles for disposing of wastewater, tree roots grow into the pipe looking for moisture. Then every year or two, the roots become too much and I have to have the pipes rooted (cleaned) out.
But this time was different. This time the rooter technician found a blockage and recommended I get a camera inspection. So the next day, a tiny camera on the end of a cable descended into the pipe and revealed the problems. Tiles had caved in and created blockages requiring a whole new sewer line.
The problems became more evident when excavation began. Crews dug down to the pipes, even descending some 8 feet (more than 2 meters) below street level. They found that some pipes were not where they thought they were. They could only devise an appropriate solution after they dug down and uncovered the mess.
Like buried pipes, we have a lot of stuff deep in our personalities that is not evident until we dig down. And when we do, we often find things are not as we thought they were.
On the surface, we feel the results of buried problems, but don’t have the full perspective of the location or causes. It’s only when we dig do we get an accurate perspective.
When my toilet backed up, all I knew is that I had a problem. I could see the murky water. I could smell that all was not well. I could have ignored the problem, but the crappy water would continue to rise.
My default was to do what I’d always done before; get the sewer rooted out.
But this time was different. In order to solve the problem and go forward, I would need to let crews diagnose the problem, dig, replace pipes, and upgrade connections to get things flowing as they should. It required a major overhaul of the system (and a pricey one at that)!
We experience problems with our finances, health, relationships, careers, spirituality…every aspect of life. It’s only when we are willing to dig down and accurately diagnose the causes can we move forward and stop the cycle of blockages.
What are the areas of your life where you feel blocked or backed up?
What would it take to shine a lighted camera into the deepest, darkest places of your life?
Are you willing to do the work and pay the price to experience a free flow of life? (If I hadn’t been willing to give crews access and fork out the money, I would still have a big problem.)
Unfortunately these are not one-time questions. Oh how I wish there was a one-time solution like getting a new sewer line.
But life is a journey, and problems and issues continue to surface throughout.
This I know. Each time I dig down, do the hard work of the soul, and deal with my crap, my life gets better. I get healthier. My relationships improve. I made wiser decisions.
There is a concept in many religious circles called “sin.” People have different definitions. Some say sin is anything that separates you from God. Others would extend that to people also—as in sin separates you from others.
I think sin is anything that steals shalom—life as God intended for me and the universe—when everything works as it should.
I once heard that sin is like being in a manure pile and wallowing in it. Imagine falling into the pit of a slimy, stinky outhouse and liking it. Not only do you wiggle around in it, but like a pig in its own waste, you actually enjoy it. Anyone passing by would think you had lost your mind!
Yet we continue to wallow in our own crap, wondering why we don’t get ahead, find relief or know contentment.
We need a good cleaning out from time to time.
Be willing to deal with your crap. When you do, though it may be a terrible process, you will be so much better afterwards.
Now as I finish this post (I kid you not) I’m off for a colonoscopy.