There was a time when I had turtles in my tub! Little, green, plastic, teenage mutant types. And I had Batman and Sponge Bob and gray and green army soldiers too!
There was everything from monster trucks and speedboats to Nerf guns. Look into my tub on any given night and you’d see Spider Man, Transformers, or maybe even a T-Rex. I had a Gargoyle with wings that detach. I had a sinister part-robot-part-man thing with what looks like a brain in his belly. The brain has a face and two sorts of brain-like arms. Open a little clear plastic door and he comes out. Bert and Ernie floated on canoes and inner tubes. Winnie the Pooh bobbed around like some fishing lure. There were assorted Ninja types, fully armed with Dark Age style swords. I even had Buzz Lightyear equipped with retractable wings and clear sliding space helmet. “To infinity and beyond. . .”
You name it, and I had it in my tub. And that’s what bugged me. I wanted it out! I remember thinking, “Just once I’d like to step into my own tub and not put my foot on some razor sharp plastic spear or weird plastic mutant. I want a tub that’s free of super heroes, dinosaurs, and turtles!”
Then I’d stop to think. I might not like the turtles, but I love the ones that put the turtles there. To get a tub without toys I’d have to live in a world without little boys. That day came soon enough, as I knew it would. So in the meantime, I lived joyfully with the mess (and the pain). Sweeping a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles out of the bathtub is a small price to pay for the endless joy I got watching little boys turn into men.
This brings me to a point.
Most of the things that give you the greatest joy, kids, home, relationships, they all come with baggage. The only place I know where everything stays perfectly organized is a cemetery. But I don’t see a pack of people wanting to get there.
Solomon must have had children in mind when he penned Proverbs 14:4, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” I like Professor Ryrie’s note on that one, “There is no milk without some manure.”