The Dung Heap

 

dung hill

Dung heaps are where you will find Dung Beetles.
Do you know of the Dung Beetle ?

Well,  Wikipedia says this :

Dung Beetles are beetles that feed on faeces (dung).
Beetles in some species of Dung Beetles can bury dung 250 times heavier than themselves in one night.
Many Dung Beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls which are used as a food source or breeding chambers.
Others known as tunnelers, bury the dung wherever they find it.   A third group, the dwellers, neither roll nor burrow, they simply live in manure.

Dung Beetles play a role in Agriculture and Tropical forests.   By burying and consuming dung, they improve soil conditions and soil structure.
They are also important for the dispersal of seeds present in animal dung   …..  and more.

Although this is my story of the dung heap and the Dung Beetle, it comes with an apology to the Dung Beetle, as in real ecological terms, the Dung Beetle is a vital link, and does nature a great service, and so we all benefit.

I recently put my back out, have been immobile and rendered useless, so I decided to give myself two days bed rest to ease the muscles.   This self inflicted solitary confinement left me with nothing else but me myself and I, and my solitary thoughts.
So I decided to let my mind wonder over the years, the people in it, the friends and family, the events, the big and little incidents that go to make up an ordinary life.
Memory is a strange, but interesting place to visit.  But a little introspection is never a bad thing, if you keep a level head.

My thoughts had settled on certain people in certain situations and I was thrust into a churning of hate, anger and resentment.  I picked at the people, saw their faults, hated their actions and reactions.   I mulled over their inability to understand and love others more than they loved themselves, and I became angry all over again at the hopelessness of unsolvable situations and relationships.

Still pained and angry I heard this thought :   –  “ get off the dung heap  !”  –  Dung heap ?
I knew I had to change my thinking pattern quickly – so my thoughts turned to the Dung Beetle, which I put on the back burner until I could look up the life of the Dung Beetle, when mobile again.

Dung beetle

But if I were to translate the dung heap to that of my own soul, where the faeces of hate, anger and resentment are tightly compacted into the folds of my soul I would be wise to do a little cleaning out.   Often invisible and tucked away are these destructive faeces of unresolved  emotions.
Of course Forgiveness is the key to a good cleanse.   But forgiveness is a journey not just a once off action.   Jesus said to forgive seventy seven times seven.   When we Forgive, it becomes a lifestyle – journey a road, sometimes a long one, we have to walk through to the end.   Along that road there are the stop overs , or the residues, of hate, anger  resentment and recriminations toward others, all needing the same remedy – Forgiveness.
And it is at these stop overs that we can become stuck.
The Bible says in Song of Solomon 2:15     Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.

Two foxes
But,  before the journey of forgiveness can be undertaken one thing is necessary.   And that is to see in myself, recognise, and acknowledge the faeces in my own soul – and to
own it  !      When I saw my hate, and began to understand my anger, I was appalled at the strong emotion, and reactions it evoked from me, and decided to walk the Forgiveness road, these emotions gradually became a little diminished.
However the residue of resentment, a little more subtle, and recriminations toward others, are the stop overs I still have to clear, with Forgiveness.

Yes, Forgiveness is a journey, but if not undertaken, watch out for the Dung Beetle, which will gleefully roll you away.
Forgive and you will be forgiven – then the Dung Beetle has no chance of eagerly adding you to his ever enlarging and nauseating  dung heap, where he will rob you of peace and joy – and eventually eat you up !

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking
be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4: 31,32

 

 

 

 

Pause to Ponder

 

Cross

Easter.    It’s that time of year again when the world slows down just a little, and there is time to pause and ponder on the things of God.   He has been around forever, and will be with us even when we are unaware of His presence.  He just is, and yet we miss Him, if we do not look for Him, or take a little time to listen for Him.

There is more to life than just living, and not everything is as it seems.  There is a mystery at play, a mystery in full view, if we were to pause, to ponder and to perceive.
Easter time is a good time to ponder on The Great Story of God, the story of righteousness, redemption and restoration, and all things good.  And for that we need to look at the cross, and the finished work of Jesus Christ.

aaron-burden-76177-unsplash

The cross is a place of brutal suffering – where Jesus was lashed with a whip of seven tails, that tore and ripped the skin off his body; where a crown of thorns mockingly pierced the flesh of his skull.   And so when we are in pain and suffering – God knows.
He was nailed to a wooden cross and crucified by a people that was called to be His own.
And so when we are betrayed – God knows.
The cross is a place of sacrifice – where God deemed it fit for His Son to die for the sake of mankind,  – that is you and me.  And so when we sacrifice for the sake of others – God knows.
The cross is a place of rejection.  He was rejected by man, and abandoned by God.
And so when we are rejected, abandoned and all alone – God knows.

Rejected rose

As the song goes   “Like a rose trampled on the ground, He took the fall and thought of me above all”

The cross where the significance of self and its sin, melts into the sacrificed life of Christ Jesus, that makes us acceptable, and worthy, and beautiful before a Holy God.

The cross, is a place of salvation – where forgiveness is given, but so often not received, because we do not ask for forgiveness from God, from others, even from ourselves and are hard-pressed to give forgiveness to those who have done us wrong.

So often are we pre-occupied with only ourselves, and don’t listen or  ask after the promises, and the ways of God.

The cross, is pivotal to the story of God, and to history itself.
The cross is a place of death, and death has to be breached, so that new life can begin.  The cross is a place of life – the place where heaven opens and righteousness and restoration happens.   The veil is lifted between earth and heaven –  and so He opens the way, for those who choose to believe in God and in His story.

holycross
Jesus died,  and rose again.  The miracle of all the ages.   He is the resurrection to the new life, the new creation, through a new covenant – a covenant of the heart !
And the new creation is what it is all about !  He is the beginning of our story, and He is the end of our story.   But it is not the final end, for if we receive His invitation to heaven, and ask Him to come and live in our hearts today, we join Him, and reign with Him in His resurrected life, and continue into the new creation that is coming.  A new beginning – a new story !!

So take time to ponder the old old story of Jesus and His cross, and accept His invitation today to real life, life bought by His sacrifice and His blood, and by His love,  for mankind, that is you and me, to shine before God.

John 14:6    Jesus said to him  ” I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

This Easter, pause to ponder,  and to pray … Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me for going my own way, and not following You.   Thank you for dying in my place.  Please come into my heart, and live Your life through me.  Thank You for the precious and miraculous gift of salvation.  Amen.

Red rose    Easter blessings to all.