4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.

What’s important to you? Having everything in it’s proper place, nothing out of line, everything clean and neat and orderly, all your books are alphabetized and your shirts are all hung up by color, your car is always clean inside and out, your friendships and relationships are nice and polite, your life is not allowed to be messy or difficult or unkempt.

Or are you more of the no-nonsense, take it as you see it, not afraid to get dirty, jump right into the middle of it all, hard working, blood sweat and tears, dog eared pages with scribbles and underlines, holes in the knees, roll up your sleeves, care enough to confront and won’t leave when life gets messy sort of person?

I’ve lived both ways. The later is by far the more fulfilling. Cleaning fish is a dirty job and Jesus calls us to be fishers of men. If you are afraid to get dirty, you’ll never jump in the pit to help another person get out. You’ll always be standing on the sidelines, wearing the uniform but never breaking a sweat or getting grass stains on it.

From someone that has lived like they belonged in a museum, I can tell you that it is really lonely, really fake, never satisfying, and leaves you empty. If that’s you today, take whatever is holding you back and lay it at the cross. If it’s fear, ask for His courage. If it’s passivity, ask for His passion. If it’s pride, ask for His humility. If it’s judgment, ask for His compassion. Whatever keeps you from being willing to get dirty in life, lay it down today. Start living this life. You only have one life to live and no one can live it for you!