“An empty stable stays clean, but no income comes from an empty stable.” Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)
Life is messy! As one teacher who must have grown up on a farm put it, “There is no milk without some manure.”
In other words, if you want a good return it will cost you something – you’ll have to feed the ox. It will not be easy – you’ll have to shovel some manure.
On our church staff, we call this the N.M. – N.M. principle. No Mess – No Ministry.
The goal of life is not to keep the stable clean!
Anytime you do anything, there will always be some difficulty attached. Nothing will go exactly as planned. It always takes longer than you expected.
God told Adam in the Garden of Eden that one of the results of sin in this world would be weeds – work that is always harder than it feels it “should be.”
The only way to escape the difficulty is to not do anything. I know some people whose stable is clean and well organized – because they’ve chased all of the oxen out! The barn may smell better, but the fields go year after year without a harvest.
So, while you’re shoveling manure today (and you will be!) remember that the messes are a part of a meaningful life. Remember that those who make an impact on this world are going to have some really tough days.
And keep on shoveling.