Have you had one of those days where things are breaking around the house, the kids are getting sick, the car has a flat and the neighborhood has a funky smell in the air?
Yeah, you might have. I’ve had days like that. In fact, I’ve had more than one of those days.
It is one of those days that you say: “you know, this is not what I signed up for this when …. (you fill in the blank).
I have lived in the country for over 12 years now. Our family moved from the north side of Chicago to the Southern country Appalachian valleys of Ohio. Life in the country is one that we enjoy very much.
But let me tell you the truth, the country has its challenges just like the suburbs do – just a little different challenges, though.
I have an Amish neighbor about an 1/8 of a mile down the road that once a year he decides to move his 100 plus head of cattle to a different pasture. That is good, though. That way the cows get better grass on the fresh pasture.
The problem comes in when this guy starts to work the now empty field, where he got his cattle away from. He begins to spread manure. He has a “manure spreader” attached to his tractor that he pulls while spreading this horse and cow manure all over that field.
I never thought there was such a thing! Having cattle poop all over the field is one thing, but when you spread that stuff on every square inch of the field, is another story altogether.
Well, let me tell you. If you enjoy sleeping with your windows opened during a nice Spring or Fall night, you will be awaken by the horrendous smell of manure. If you are in air conditioning, by the time you get outside your house, you will be met by the slap on your face by the smell of manure.
When you drive near that field, the inside of your car is overtaken by the powerful smell of manure. In moments you feel like you taste that nasty stuff. It’s horrible! It’s gagging! It’s just …. well, bad.
The crazy thing about it is – I have to live with that. Every so often, when my Amish friend chooses to spread manure, I have to live with the smell of it for two or three days – two or three long days.
Life tends to be the same way. The time comes when your car breaks down and the air conditioning unit breaks at the wrong time. Right after you’ve come home from spending a chunk of change on your vacation. You know what I’m talking about – don’t you?
Now you live with the stench or the aggravation of what life just spread on you.
So what do you during this time?
During times of “manure” smell living, there are 6 Practical Steps To Take When Dealing With Life’s Manure Problems
1. When my neighbor spreads that manure, I stay in the house as often as possible. When I have to drive by it, I try not to breathe while putting the pedal to the medal. So when life spreads a little manure on you – just stay still and know that Poppa Love from Up Above loves you enough to care for you. He will see you through and the smell will eventually fade. Just don't forget to breath.
2. If the smell or the conditions are not resolved, pray some more, and try to keep your composure.
When that manure gets spread, my eyes sometimes water; my breath is taken way and my mood changes. (do I need to say more?) So I keep my composure and try not to get exasperated.
3. Smile and be neighborly.
Even while I’m trying to book it down the road while my neighbor is spreading that stuff, if he catches my eyes, I smile and wave. I mean, even though I want to kill the guy right there and then, I still wave. No really, I actually like him. He’s a real nice guy. It’s just once a year when he aggravates my life. So I just smile and wave.
Stay sweet during those unusual times when life throws a little manure on your field. Don’t forget to wipe the tears away.
4. Remember that soon the smell will be gone.
Your faith in God and his grace will help you get through your situation that once you’re on the other side of things – you won’t even smell like manure anymore. Now, that’s a good thing.
5. Manure is not as bad as it smells – it’s just the smell that’s really bad.
Sometimes our troubles become magnified by the attention we give it. The best thing I’ve learned is to deal with the trouble, leave it in God’s hands, and he will help the situation. I may have to put up with the smell for a while, but in the end it’ll all be gone and I’ve learned something.
6. The Spreader is not your enemy.
No, I don’t mean to kill my Spreader Amish friend. I just say that but really what I want to do is destroy his manure spreader and spray some type of deodorizer (like the one you have in your bathroom) all over his field.
Sometimes, all we want to do is fix the symptoms to our problems just so we don’t have to put up with the smell of it. Listen, the smell is bad, but the content is necessary. That manure feeds the soil that the cows will eventually eat, which eventually – well – we’ll eat. Yuck! True, though.
What I’m trying to say is that eventually the troubles you face will make you stronger if you just put up with the smell a little longer while trusting God to help you in the process. The time will come when the smell won’t bother you so much.
I’ll be honest, I’m not there yet. I’m still trying to get used to the smell of manure (like many farmers in the area), as much as I’m trying to put up with the struggle and aggravation of the problems I deal with.
One thing I know, in the end, I will win, and I will be stronger, rebranded and a better man.
Eventually I’ll even help someone else deal with their own life manure successfully.
I wonder, how else do you deal with life when troubles don’t seem to go away sooner than expected? Make this list better by adding your comments below.