I once heard a funny story about a fraternity that wanted to have a pet goat. One of the fraternity brothers approached the Dean to ask permission for the goat to live in the fraternity house. The Dean listened patiently to the young man explain that they would care for the goat, feed the goat, and clean up after the goat. Then the Dean asked, “Well, what about the smell!?” “Oh,” responded the fraternity brother, “He’ll get used to that!”
It’s funny. It has been a while since I have been in a fraternity house – but yes, there can be a bad smell! And, it is true that we do get used to things in life. We get used to the way things are – even things that stink.
Pastor Rob Bell once spoke about the passage in John where Lazarus is raised from the dead. He mentioned that in the King James Version it says about Lazarus, “He stinketh!” For a while Bell had that verse taped above his computer in his study. It would remind him to consider the places in his own life that “stinketh,” places that he needed Jesus to raise from the dead. You see, he wanted something to remind him to reflect on this – so that he wouldn’t get used to the stink.
I once heard that if a frog jumps into hot water, it will immediately jump out. But, if it is placed in cool water and the temperature is slowly turned up, it gets used to the water and will stay there until it is cooked.
Let us pray: Loving God, we do want to make the very most of this life that you have given us. We want to be healthy and whole. Allow us to see those places in our lives: actions, attitudes, or habits that stinketh. Please don’t let us get used to the stink. Grant us courage and strength to change what we can. Work in us and even beyond us. Heal us and set us free. And may your resurrection power raise us again to new life. Amen.