Life gets messy.
That’s a tag line for this blog, and a tag line for my life. And as I look around, even in my slow neck of the wood, we get hit pretty hard. People argue politically, and it gets pretty testy. People are struggling with finances … which no stimulus bill will eliminate that issue in perpetuity. Health issues happen … people fall, some get the Covid (and yes, I said that the way I wanted), and others lose loved ones. Relationships struggle.
I look around the world and I see it all over. The royals are sharing their laundry. Powerful personalities are leaving the Southern Baptist Convention. Politicians that promise bipartisan efforts seem to continue the same old muck and messiness. Tens of thousands crashing the border. Book sellers cancelling cartoon characters and children’s books but continue to sell Mein Kampf.
One controversy that gets me scratching my head was the claim of whites being accused of ‘Digital Blackfacing.’ This came to my attention with people editing the Oprah-Royal interview and just focusing on the expressions of Oprah. And from there, some of the expressions have ended up on FB as memes for emotional expression of shock or whatever.
Apparently this is not cool. For those that are not people of color, to use any meme or gif of those that are people of color is taboo. Blackfacing dates back to the 19th century where white minstrels/actors blackened their faces and took personas of people of color. This was mainly used to express emotions and reactions. People claim it has now gone to the cyber world where non people of color use emotionally expressive gifs or memes. The practice has now become a call of cultural appropriation and a form of racism.
Life gets messy.
Sometimes I don’t know how to act or react. I don’t know my actions will be taken, or how my inaction will be taken. Do I burn my Dr. Seuss or buy extra? Do I remove my Pepe LePew and Speedy Gonzales Christmas ornaments from my collection? I mean, my wife loves it when I treat her with the affection of Pepe. Yeah, he’s a bit creepy … but so is half the teen movies out of Hollywood (can you say American Pie or National Lampoon without all that?)
So what do we do when our shoes get muddy? I guess it depends on when they get muddy.
First … When I’m hiking, I don’t stop. I keep hiking till I get out of the trail. I avoid the mud if a can; but if I can’t, I just keep on walking. If you let it stop you, then you will either be stuck on a trail or never get out again. I may shake of the excess mud but I don’t stop nor let it prohibit forward momentum.
So when this world gets messy, don’t let it paralyze you, keep on walking. The journey isn’t over. (Biblically, keep on keeping on. When you fall, get back up and keep walking. Remain vigilant, running the race with your eyes in Jesus.)
Second … Don’t throw the shoes away. When you get off the trail, take the shoes off. You don’t throw them away. When I get to the car, I sometimes have an extra pair there. I don’t always use them, but I’ve got them. I put the messiness to the side and wait till the appropriate time to address it.
So when the world gets messy, that doesn’t mean you have to address it publicly and loudly. Set it aside and set a time to address the issue. (Biblically, go privately to address issues first. All for the sake of reconciliation and restoration, not retaliation.)
Third … clean the issue. With shoes, I will get home and clean the shoes. And yet I clean them knowing they will most likely get muddy again. Maybe not from the same spot on the same trail. The more I get out, the more I’ll get muddy.
So in this world, we blow it. Learn from it. Change what needs to be changed. Fix what needs to be fixed. But start with our own lives and be patient with those that aren’t as alert or quick or woke as yourself. (Biblically, we constantly need to go to the Lord with need of cleansing. Like the foot washing in the Upper Room, they were already clean from the Word but we still need periodically to go to the Lord for cleansing from the daily muddy shoes we get.)
And keep on walking … even when life gets messy.