Embrace the Mud!
Earlier this spring, I took my two boys for a spontaneous trip to the park. Once there, I realised I had forgotten my wellies; it was the kind of day where you more than needed them! The boys were not to be deterred, so I squelched on, letting my leather boots get damp and muddy. I swung my oldest son too high on the swing you dangle from by your arms, and landed him on his rear in the mud – in his new coat! This was a good point to discover that I had forgotten the wet wipes, so we laughed, let the mud dry on his jeans and coat and our hands, and quite simply stayed muddy.
Faced with no other option, instead of becoming annoyed and upset, I embraced the mud. The best by-product of this approach was the freedom the mud-wrestling mishap gave my son to henceforth abandon all care. He was muddy. It was Mummy’s fault! Further cautioning about mud was entirely irrelevant. We swung, spun, climbed and ran, and discovered that life was more than worth living, despite – and because of – the mud.
It felt like a spiritual lesson lurked somewhere, about abandon and surrender of control –one God was orchestrating with a chuckle! Something to do with landing on one’s bottom and being caked in mud being liberating because the mud brings a freedom not to expect things to be perfect; a freedom to laugh and plough on despite the mud (and the strange discovery that this is possible); and the freedom to trust that the mud will eventually brush off more easily later on, than if we’d stopped, cried, sat in it and tried to wipe it off, still wet and slimy, as soon as it stuck.
So, spiritually, it made me realise I sometimes need to drop my attempts to always be fully prepared, always have my “wet wipes” about my person – the things I think I can do in my own strength to control and minimise the mud. Sometimes – much, more often in fact – I need to leave it to God. I need to trust His timing and learn that it’s okay, even liberating, to walk caked in mud for a while, knowing that life continues despite the mud and that His gentle hand will brush it off when the time is right, restoring me to all I should be, with some richer experiences to relate, about the time I walked, caked in mud, but sparkling with His life and joy.
King’s Lynn Christian Fellowship
Embrace the Mud!