I’m guessing you’ve never imagined finding yourself in the middle of a poop geyser. But, after all it is 2020 and one might say that life in general fits that description figuratively pretty well. I on the other hand found myself amidst one literally the other day, and I just couldn’t help but draw upon an analogy I’d like to share with you now.
Let me give you a very brief background before I bring you a laugh and likely a groan of disgustingness all at once today. I purchased a cabin early last Spring. I’d discovered that when there were multiple people there for an extended period of time, the water started to drain slowly. So, I called the local septic company. He came out and promptly gave me an education about this high quality system I had, which was a 3 phase, the first being a smaller tank about 5 feet underground that grinds up all the sewage and a pump pushes it up a large PVC pipe that runs through a big underground wooden box, takes a turn and pushes the sewage into the actual septic tank a few feet over and so on. He pointed out that the float for the pump was not working and that I should have the plug, which was in that nice wooded protective box replaced because the cord needed to be wiggled to get it to work. When the pump didn’t turn on, then the water would slow down in the drains. I have seen these systems many times in real estate. It wasn’t anything new. He agreed to change the pump float, and leave the lid exposed for the contractor to change out the outlet. However, much to my surprise, he did something in my absence that would turn my next visit into something very memorable.
I went to the cabin this week and thought, boy he sure did not clean up his mess very well. There was a PVC pipe in the yard and several pieces of wood. As I continue, remember he had shown me that I could just wiggle that plug inside the box to get the water to drain from the grinding station to the tank. At the end of the weekend I noticed the water slowing. So, with the help of my good friend who was there chopping wood with me, we lifted that big lid and I jumped down into that box. I said, well he doesn’t even have it plugged in! I leaned over to grab the cord to plug it in. What I did NOT notice was that the PVC pipe no longer had an elbow on it running over to the septic tank, but was cut off about 18” from the base, pointing straight up. I had to lean over it to reach the plug. I tried the top outlet, nothing. So, I tried the bottom outlet, gave it a little wiggle and hummmm…… I heard the pump. Then, WHOOOOOSH…. The water was moving. It sure was moving, right up that PVC pipe and beating against my chest! It took oh, likely a good half of a second for my brain to catch up to the fact that I had created a geyser of poop sewage and it was covering me. I dropped the cord (still plugged in) and stood up, which then allowed the geyser to raise up to a good 4 foot spout. Mind you, I was still standing in that wood box which is about 3ft deep. I looked down, still stunned to realize the sewage spouting was now covering my feet and was past my ankles. I started scrambling out of the geyser of poop and yelling, turn off the power, turn off the power! My friend, who up to this point was seemingly stupefied at the happenings, ran into the house to the power box. By this time the sewage was well over the height of the outlet in that box. He ran back out and stared at me, speechless, not making a sound. I stared at him, stared at the flooded box, looked down at myself covered in ground up toilet paper and sewer water and I burst out laughing. I rolled back on the ground and just laughed. My friend stared, unsure if I had lost my mind, unsure if it was safe for him to laugh as well. Finally, he said, “I can’t believe you’re laughing”. Then he joined in.
I had a choice the moment I realized I was being covered in sewage and ground up pooh from the friends who had joined me that day. I could have screamed, I could have cried, or been outraged. But, I chose to laugh. And I can tell you, it was such a relief, it was joyous. I can’t remember laughing so hard recently. It had been too long. This year has been long, and it has been hard and oft full of loneliness and worry and uncertainty. I had to laugh, at the absurdity, the disgustingness, the shock… and it was good. I did give thanks – that it hadn’t been aimed at my head, that the look on my friend’s face was priceless. I ask you today to look around you in this world full of turmoil, as we approach a Thanksgiving that is likely different than any we’ve experienced before, and be thankful. There is always something, many things in fact, that we can give thanks over. We have that choice each and every moment, to give thanks, to laugh or to despair. Choose laughter; even if life seems to be spouting a geyser of poop.
Genesis 21:6: “And Sarah declared, ‘God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me.’”
May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving and beyond.
P.S. I called the septic guy – he said, Oh yes – I guess I should’ve texted you that I hadn’t finished…. 😊 (I would agree)