This spring and early summer, an unusual amount of rain fell here in Central Illinois. Rivers were swollen, fields were flooded, and farmers had to delay planting.
Even our property on high ground was affected, especially our chicken run, which turned into a chicken wallow, rather than the dusty stretch of bare dirt it usually is.
The mud had a most unusual effect upon our chickens, who spend their days striding back and forth in their run. Dried mud ankle weights formed upon their legs, layer by layer, until each chicken had heavy balls of dried mud around her ankles.
My daughter and I tried to break off the stuff with our fingers, to no avail. It was like concrete! So we set each chicken in a dishpan of water and let her feet soak until we could loosen the softened mud.
The chickens loved the attention, seeming to look upon the whole thing as a spa treatment – except that they decided to drink their bathwater as well as luxuriate in it.
After each chicken was relieved of her cement booties, we returned her to the run. Fortunately, the rain tapered off soon after, and our chickens haven’t suffered from the problem since.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of the weights that the Bible speaks of, weights we Christians carry about as a result of dragging our feet through the muck of the world.
Though the solution is as simple as a soak in the clean water of the Spirit, we sometimes neglect to take care of ourselves in that way. We forge on, bearing burdens of worry, stress, or forgotten or ignored sin, when all we have to do is a bit of daily maintenance: prayer, self-examination, and eliminating from our lives those things that would drag us down.
But let a man examine himself. – 1 Corinthians 11:28a
I encourage you, even when time seems short and your days are busy, take a moment to refresh yourself in the Spirit. Turn over your burdens to Jesus. Ask him to forgive your sin.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. – Matthew 11:29
And both physically and spiritually, remove from your life anything that would slow you down in the race for Christ: media, entertainment, false friends. You know what encumbers you.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1
How do you make time for spiritual self-checks? Are there things you’ve had to remove from your life because they affected your spiritual race? I value your thoughts.