On Poop and Seeking

*Deep, heavy, weight-of-the-world sigh*
Friends, there is a lot of poop in my life right now.
Don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean that as a metaphor for "my life is going poorly". There is, actually, a LOT of LITERAL, physical poop. I have a toddler in diapers and a preschooler who still needs bathroom assistance.
In fact, I just finished changing a diaper full of the afore-mentioned material. My daughter is, as I type these words, strolling around the living room mindlessly singing “diarrhea, diarrhea!!” I think it’s going to be to a new hit single. And it perfectly encapsulates my life in this season.
Just the other day, we were all getting ready for church, as we do every Sunday. Let me rephrase that. I was getting all of us ready for church, as is the case every Sunday, since my husband (who, you should know, will have many rewards in Heaven due to his patience and long-suffering with all of us, along with a long list of other attributes to which I could devote many posts) gets to church very early to set up and practice with the band. Ahem. “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” I’m in the midst of getting us ready. My girls are dressed, fed, and their teeth are brushed, and they are happily playing in the living room with about a half an hour left before departure time. So needless to say, I’m feeling great about our progress thus far. I’m way ahead of the game, with only myself to attend to, and feeling maybe even a little confident that we will get to church on time. Too confident. My coffee was taking its laxative effect, as usual, and without going into detail, disaster struck as I casually flushed the toilet and began washing my hands. As the water trickled, then flowed out onto the floor, it took a minute to register with my overly-confident brain what was happening. My go-to panic response is momentary wide-eyed paralysis. Basically, I freeze for a couple seconds. I’ve fooled my husband into thinking I’m calm and collected, taking in the situation so I can act effectively, but we all know that’s malarky. So after the first few seconds I came to and began the next, much more sane response: “aaaaAAAAAHHH!!! CRAAAAAP!!!! Help! Help! Towels! HELP!” I will spare you the awful details, because frankly, that’s an image you just can’t un-see. Thankfully my mom was staying with us and is much more level-headed than I, so she was the savior of our morning, and very possibly our bedroom carpet.
Later that same morning, I was singing “How Great Thou Art” along with my beautiful church family, and I was overcome with the true greatness of God. His greatness is not separate and far off from my poop-filled life. His greatness envelopes it. The mysterious beauty of our God is that in order to show the world who he is, he became human. He lived in a real live human body. He encountered all the messy stuff of life we do. He dealt with poop. So he is just as present as I frantically sop up my bathroom floor as he is when I sing hymns of worship with my brothers and sisters. “The whole earth is filled with his glory.” Even my little poopy corner of the world is full of God’s glory, and I will see it if I look for it. But sometimes it does take some looking.
“When you seek me, you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
“I will appear all up in your face with thunder and neon flashing signs even when you’re so self-absorbed your eyes are fixed on the mirror and your own problems."
And my life chronicles that GOD WILL BE FOUND. In every season of my life I have found God. I’ve found him in the painful heartbreak seasons, in the happy celebration seasons, in the difficult, take-all-my-tiny-strength-to-make-it seasons, and in the boring, dry seasons. I only find him, though, when I take the time to look.
Seek: verb; look for. hunt high and low, pursue, go after, search out, follow.
Seeking takes time and energy. It’s not casual and it necessarily cannot be an afterthought. Seeking is all-consuming. It implies action, passion, and border-line obsession. For me, seeking God is a daily endeavor. It looks like time spent in solitude, listening for God to speak. It looks like reading voraciously. It looks like journaling everything that’s waiting inside me to be expressed in the knowledge that God cares and is listening. God is love, God is beautiful, and God is worth finding. God is the breath and flavor that has made my life worth living. So I don’t question whether seeking God is worth it. (If you are questioning that, peace to you. God is big enough for our questions, and has used many of my questions to guide me to beautiful and better places. More on that later, maybe.) I don’t just assume that because my life is demanding and overflowing with poop, I have less time to seek God. I can’t survive without God, so I MAKE time. I wake my exhausted self up an hour before the rest of my family (most mornings) to have undisturbed time because I CRAVE God. When I get a rare piece of silence in the afternoon, I seek God instead of turning on the TV because I know GOD IS MY REST. When I feel all angsty, or irritable, or dissatisfied with life, I seek God, because GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO SATISFIES.
Because I know you’re waiting in suspense over this, I’ll just tell you. We did make it to church on time that day. I was wearing no makeup and my hair was in a pony tail (not the cute kind), but we made it. That’s not the point, though. If it were, I would feel like a failure every time the miracle of getting ANYWHERE on time as a family didn’t happen. And that would be often. The point is that God is found right in the midst of our messy, crazy, poop-filled life. If you’re like me, in a season full of poop and chaos, this is encouraging. But it’s encouraging for all of us, no matter our season. That's the beauty of God. God is no stranger to the human experience, and he wants to draw near to us wherever we are. But to see and know God, we must seek Him.
It will be worth it. Let’s seek him together.