“I WANT my POOP!” He was sobbing from the depths of his heart. “I want it. I want it. I want it.”
Sweet little man. This is a normal part of growing up. It’s time to learn to let go. Each day we talked about it. He needed vision and truth: “Poop is not your friend. Honey, we are not keeping your poop. Your diaper must be changed. Poop has to be thrown away.”
I’m sensing that potty training may take a while with this one. And I am seeing a metaphor I can’t ignore.
Firstly, let’s talk about the obvious: Let go of things that should be let go of.
Simple. Right? If it’s not something that should be held on to: Let. It. Go. Oh I know, it’s not simple. Letting go is hard. Believe me, this immigrant knows: Letting go is hard. Our emotions can blind us. Our season can confuse us. Our histories can deceive us. And we end up holding onto things that are not to be held on to. Oh how we need the Holy Spirit’s Wisdom because it won’t always be as obvious as… well… poop. We need the Holy Spirit’s help to be purposefully mindful and sensitive to discern what needs to be sloughed away. And we need the Holy Spirit’s help to loosen grasp. And we need His help evermore to move on from the loss. Yes, letting go is hard. But it must be done. Because nothing good will come from holding on to poop. Carrying around poop will bring illness to ourselves and will cause lost relationships with others. Let’s be real: Poop smells. It’s not meant to be held on to.
But there’s a second thing tugging at my heart: Pooping is not bad.
It is a normal to poop. It is not a shameful thing. It is not a bad sign. It’s actually a sign of health. Of functioning well. Pooping is good and right. We should always be in a process of sloughing. Physically and emotionally. Literally and figuratively. And, if we view our sloughing as bad, we will produce a culture of people who hide. People who cover up. People who pretend. To be perfect. And impossibly poopless. Fake. Veneered. I fear we have already become these people. It seems like we’ve believed a lie: that the process of emotional eliminating and discarding is undesirable and a sign of weakness. We have come to expect… to require… perfection-already-attained. Oh friends, have come to despise genuine growth journeys? In ourselves and in others? Oh the gravity. Please. Poop, both literal or metaphorical, should not be judged as an indication of weakness, of ungodliness, of sinfulness. Pooping is wonderful. Sloughing is healthy. Can we reclaim this truth for our lives? No growth will happen if we pretend like we’ve already arrived. This is dangerous.
So, here it is: Let’s be good at pooping. And let’s be good at throwing it away.
Oh Holy Spirit, help us.
There is a right time for everything. A right time to hold on and another to let go.(Ecclesiastes 3:1b & 6b Msg)