Some things can not be mentioned delicately, so I’ll just come right out with it: the bounce house where my nephew had his birthday party this past Saturday smelled like feet and butt. It took me a few moments to sort out the aroma, but once I did it was unmistakable. What was a faint smell as I stood watching my children having all sorts of inflatable fun was an assault on my olfactory senses once they persuaded me to join them. It’s a good thing that my gag reflex has been reduced to nothingness by having to deal with dirty diapers for 9 years in a row.
I should have expected the smell of feet and been ready for it. A bunch of sweaty kids running around minus their shoes is going to produce a pungent odor even if all of the kids present were wearing clean socks. And they all weren’t wearing clean socks. In fact, some of the socks looked like they had never seen the inside of a washing machine. This includes the socks my kids had on even though I know that we put clean ones on them before we left the house. This is just my luck; finding out that my kids have superpowers only to discover that their superpowers are that they can make clean things become disgusting in a matter of seconds.
The feet smell was understandable; it was the butt smell that caught me off guard. I don’t suppose there is a more disconcerting smell in the history of smells than the smell of butt. No matter where you smell it or how strong it is, once you smell it you can’t un-smell it. What I mean is that once you know it is there you are unable to not know it is there. It wasn’t an overpowering smell, it was more of a lingering aroma would not leave me alone.
What did I do about the smell of feet and butt? I dealt with it. I supposed that I could have run away from the smell, but then I would not have had the enjoyment of watching my kids play or hanging out with people who I love. If I wanted the good I had to deal with the bad. And the good can overcome the bad.
This is also true in a local church.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
There is no shortage of negative words being spoken about local churches or church services. There are people who seem to think that it is their mission to tear down church-goers and pastors for all that we do wrong. There is plenty of truth to what they have to say. All too often neither the Church or individual churches are all that they should be, all that they could be. I understand the frustrations because I share many of them. I just don’t understand giving up altogether; not when there are still so many good things that come from being a part of a church that is trying to follow Jesus.
The good can overcome the bad if we are willing to let it, if we will open our eyes and see it, if we are willing to overlook the faults of others and focus on Jesus. If you have given up, try going back. If you believe that the church you left is too far gone and that there is no hope for you to plug back in there, go somewhere else.
And if it smells like feet and butt, take a quick look around. You may have taken a wrong turn and ended up in a bounce house. Especially if you keep hearing a song that urges you to do the Macarena.
(Have you ever smelled feet and butt? What do you think about the Church/local churches? Are we overcoming the bad with good? Share away!)