Yep, if you haven’t guessed it yet, my family made another venture into the country the other day. 🙂 My two oldest, Marie and Patrick, had a sleepover with our friends that live in the country. So the fam and I had to go pick them up yesterday. While we were there, we had to take a trip out to see the new baby goat via the cow pasture. As we were walking through the cow pasture, we met a variety of things…but mostly cow patties.
You can imagine the conversation we were having with the children at the time.
‘Watch where you are stepping.’
‘Look, there’s old crap.’
‘Don’t step in the new crap.’
‘Boy, this is a lot of crap.’
I think you get the idea. There was a lot of ‘crap’ talking. 😉 It was all said in fun, but thinking back now, I realized how true it is. It’s like the famous quote from Forrest Gump; “Life is like a box of chocolates.” But it’s a little more messy and a little more real. Let me try to explain.
Life is like a stroll through a cow pasture. You start out with a mission in mind like finding a spouse, becoming a parent or living a single life. As you venture into the cow pasture of life you will encounter old crap that you thought was gone. Some past mistake, bad choice or old experience that was part of your old life. Yes, the crap is still there, but it’s old news now. It doesn’t sting as bad when you think about it. In fact, you can look at it now and realize that this old crap helped shape you to what you are today.
A step further into the pasture and you hear the sounds of nature. The sounds make you feel tranquil and calm. But the next step or two you take could lead you straight into a new pile of crap. This new pile of crap could be small or big, depending on what direction you go. So what do you do? You venture forward and do your best to step over the crap. Because with every step forward into life, you encounter something new and good. Like a new fallen pine cone or pine needles on the ground.
Yes, there are times you might step directly into the newly fresh and still steaming crap. But that is life. Life is not clean and tidy, wrapped up with a bow around it. Life is messy and fun, with unexpected messes along the way. But if you don’t keep going forward in life, you won’t get to experience the pleasure of living. I don’t mean the kind of living where you are just standing in one place and breathing. I mean the kind of living where you feel the wind in your hair and hear the sound of your own laughter. Yes, living will bring times of crying, troubles, sorrows and pain, but it also brings the opposites of those things.
Really living means you have the strength to step out into the cow pasture of life and meet the piles of crap that are along the way. If you step directly in a pile, you might need to drag your feet a bit and wipe it off. Or take a moment to take your shoe off and clean it thoroughly. Sometimes, life requires you to stop in your tracks and back up a step or two, so you don’t walk through the same pile of crap that got you down before. Sometimes, the piles of crap are so small that you don’t even know you stepped in it and it has left your feet before you ever knew it was there.
Regardless of how much crap you might have to dodge, the outcome is worth it. For me and my family, it was the pleasure of seeing a new-born goat. So small and sweet with fur that looked as soft as a feather. Standing there with my kids, listening to the baby goat make soft baa’s, it was worth the trip. To feel the wonder and joy of the experience, not to mention the pleasure to enjoy it with my family.
So yes, life is like a cow pasture. It’s messy and smelly at times. It’s fun and adventurous at times. It’s unexpected and hard at times. But it’s all part of living and isn’t that what God intended us to do on this Earth? Just live life to the fullest…you just have to be care where you walk sometimes.