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  • Katie Smith

Start with sewage

With regard to school, sports, and in our case sewers, many people are starting from scratch this fall. Scratch can feel exciting, but more often than not, it feels overwhelming. There's a level of angst connected with a blank canvas, or in our case, one filled with sewage.

Like our current plumping plight, you have to start somewhere. Sitting and soaking up stress doesn't get you off the ground. Trust me, learning will still happen even if there's a large disturbance you didn't agree to absorb the first week of school and sports. Yet, you make a choice to tackle one new thing on one new day, and sometimes you'll learn it was the wrong route, or the wrong pipe, in which case hopefully you have some workers help you carry the load back with an excavator.

Things won't always make sense, life doesn't always fit into a nice framed puzzle, and clearly not according to plan, but "all streams flow into the sea (even our sewage stream), and "there is nothing new under the sun"

So utilize those previously made routes that have been laid before you were even born. Take advantage of the wisdom and templates of others. Share stories of encouragement and effort that went well and worse off.

More often than not, you'll begin to understand the writer of Ecclesiastes as he says 39 times that things are "meaningless" or "vanity" or "hevel- like vapor." You can pour time, money, and effort into anything only to have it torn out from under your feet at any given moment.

This is not meant to discourage you, but rather give you rest from your toiling. If it's all going to turn into weeds below our feet, if we can't control anything, and our efforts remain balanced on the razor's edge of uncertainty, then we can rest assured as we trust in a Faithful Father who never falters that all will work out in the end.

That is the whole point of faith: believing when you can't understand the why? or when? or how? Admitting in humility that life is full of paradoxes we cannot explain, and it is ludacris to assume we possess all the wisdom to solve all our own problems, and those of the broken world around us.

With open hands, take a first step of faith, even if that step lands you in sewage. It is better to start somewhere small, like picking up toys, making a meal, or getting out of bed to read in silence than to stay scared and stressed that life is gone to hell and a handbasket. Look before you and change your perspective. Focus on something sweet instead of smelly. Perspective over your choices is the only control you have every day.

With small steps of faith, you can finish strong.

We finished our small steps all the way up Chattahoochee river this summer. Then we began homeschool hybrid style with sewage and stench. It makes for a great story! Like a hike, the harder it starts, though, the easier it'll feel later.


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