June 17

Shoveling Manure

June 17, 2016

Personal Growth

My father grew up on a farm that raised a variety of plants and animals, dairy cows among them. It was his job to shovel manure out of the barn, a job which apparently never ended and was never pleasant. When he shoveled his way to the end of the barn, he immediately returned to the other end and began again. He was not fond of this job.

Many modern dairy barns have come up with a new solution for manure. A mechanical rake slowly moves under the cows, from one end of the barn to the other, pushing the manure outside. When the cows feel the rake, they simply lift their feet and allow the rake to pass. The barn magically stays clean without manual shoveling.

In our personal lives we experience endless and unavoidable encounters with manure—fear, inconvenience, injustice, anger, and more. Some people complain about it, but they do nothing to remove it, so it piles up and eventually fills their lives completely. Some people demand that other people do something about it, but it still piles up, with the addition of resentment and conflict. Other people spend their lives constantly shoveling manure, with little time or energy for anything else.

There’s no reason to live or struggle with manure. It might take a bit of learning and practice to find and share Real Love—just as time and expense are involved in the installation of an automated floor rake in a barn—but once this powerful presence is in place, the reduction in fear, anger, withdrawal, and conflict is dramatic, if not complete. The manure magically disappears.

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