It was my husband’s idea. I just want to get that out there.
Most people are conditioned to look out for things that don’t seem right or are potentially harmful. Watch out for red flags, we say. So it’s perfectly natural that everyone who’s come by our house lately has stopped, gawked, and crossed the road to walk on the other side of the street. I get it. We’ve been raising flags for some time now.
Oh not red ones. Orange ones. Yes, bright, unmistakeable, safety-orange, ugly-clemson-orange ones.
Like I said, it was my husband’s idea. In fact, He’s quite proud of it. You see we have a puppy. He’s adorable. I love him. We shocked the community by getting him since it’s no secret that I’m not exactly a natural dog person. But while I have evolved into a bit of a dog mom, one thing has not changed. I still have a huge aversion to laying hands on canine waste. Yes, I’m aware of these things called poop bags. But you can still feel the poop through the bag. I’ve tried. This one time I gagged, the wind blew, the bag inverted, poop got on my hand and I went running for the house dragging the offending pooch behind me practically sideways. It wasn’t cute.
In our home, my husband and I typically share most of the chores and responsibilities. That said, poop cleanup is 100% on him. I would rather stick my hand in fire ants than pick up puppy poo with a thin plastic protective cover. Let’s face it. It’s for the puppy’s own well-being. That dragging incident is likely still in the forefront of his mind.
So here we are, living on a corner lot that is our puppy’s potty. He goes frequently too. Since I’m the one primarily taking him out during the day, I needed a system for identifying the offenses to avoid cleaning my shoes daily. Believe me, I’m accident prone and tend to panic if poo gets on me. It’s likely that I would break my neck if I stepped in his excrement. Therefore, until Eric could extract the piles from the poop fields, I originally put sticks in the ground by each one. I thought that was brilliant. Discreet, yet noticeable. Sticks people… not orange flags.
After assessing my system, Eric declared the need for a more reliable detection marker to support efficient poop extraction missions. A day later, a pack of 100 orange flags arrived on our doorstep. Now each time our little pooch does his thing, I have been instructed to place
an obnoxious a delightful orange flag in the ground near the incident. Did I mention our pup goes a lot? Did I mention we are on a corner lot in a popular neighborhood?
You can only imagine what our yard looks like after a couple days. #humiliating
Sometimes we need brightly colored flags to mark the places in our life we shouldn’t step. #aintthatthetruth
Don’t you wish God would walk ahead of you and mark some things? Might have saved me a lot of agony if I’d seen that flag first. Oh I’m sure He tried to warn me, but did I listen? Was I sensitive to what he was trying to tell me? I’d like to think that I listen pretty well, but there have been plenty of times I stepped in poo. You too? Good, well not good, but at least we will have stinky shoes together.
When we seek God and His direction for our lives, we can rest assured that He will provide it. He promised us He would. The God who knows all things from beginning to end promises to be our personal guide and keep his eye on us. Think about that. His word says “I will instruct you. I will counsel you.” Not I might. Not if I get around to it. I WILL.
Our job is to keep our eyes on God, our hearts open to His direction, and trust Him to guide us through the valleys, mountain tops and poop fields. Our job is also to be alert to the presence of red flags. The Holy Spirit is great about pointing those out if we pay attention. Even though He will help us clean up the mess when we miss it, our goal should be to step where He directs in the first place. It’s a lot less icky that way. Today, let’s make a commitment to pray about every situation we face, to be guided in the right direction by God’s Word, to be sensitive to His Spirit, and to trust Him. That’s a whole lot better than walking through puppy poo.
P.S. While writing this at a local coffee shop, I overheard a conversation between two ladies. I wasn’t eavesdropping. They were loud. 🙂 One lady said… and I quote… “that’s a huge red flag.”