We live in a world where you’re supposed to have your shit together.
YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
If you don’t, go see a counselor, or priest, or get a new prescription. Those of us who have our shit together will put up with your lack of shit-togetherness for a while, but you can’t expect us to hang out indefinitely. We have shit to do!
I’m a Loser Baby, So Why Don’t You Kill Me
I caught Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court nominee a couple of weeks ago. As I watched, I felt bothered – and not the hot kind. I went to bed with a nagging feeling of failure. This Neil Gorsuch guy is picture perfect. I’m not referring to his ideologies. I’m talking about his accomplishments. The dude is about my age. He’s reached the pinnacle of his career. He’s a real Ward Cleaver about to sit in the highest bench to pronounce judgments. I wondered what it was like for his wife and children to have the poster-child for Supreme-shit-togetherness in their lives.
As I tossed and turned in tangled sheets, I tried to count the number of pinnacles I had reached – like counting sheep to fall asleep. But drifting into zzz’s ain’t easy when zero reveals you’re no hero.
And then it hit me. Here I am, in my 40’s, and I’m still comparing myself to others. Am I a failure because my life doesn’t fit whatever I think shit-togetherness is?
What does having your shit together mean, anyway? A pleasant family in Pleasantville? A successful career that affords the finest wines and dines? Thousands of friends on Facetwittergram?
ZZ Top Knows All About Shit-Togetherness
A guy named Simon once asked Jesus over for dinner. Simon was a Pharisee (a religion law expert). Pharisees were the shit when it came to shit-togetherness. If ZZ Top were around back then, Simon would be the guy making every girl crazy.
At dinner, Simon and his boys were lounging around the table with Jesus when an uninvited woman sneaks in.
Imagine the scene.
You’re in your home enjoying a fine meal with some guests when a woman enters, kneels by Jesus, drenches his feet in tears and expensive aromatic essential oils, and performs a foot shine with her hair. To top it off, she lip-prints his feet like they’re the Stanley Cup. What the??
But this wasn’t just any woman. This particular gal was known around town for her immoral shenanigans. The story doesn’t clarify, but many believe she was the type of woman you might find doing business in Vegas or Reno.
Simon can’t believe what he’s seeing. He’s thinking, “They say Jesus is a prophet, but there ain’t no way. If he were, he would know how scandalous it is to allow this kind of woman anywhere near him.”
Jesus was a master at reading people. Seeing the look on Simon’s face, he told a story. It was about a man who loaned money to two people. One person borrowed $100,000, and the other $10,000. It turned out that neither could pay him back. So, instead of playing the mobster and sending Guido to crack some heads, he forgave them and cancelled their debts. Jesus asked Simon, “Who do you think felt more gratitude and appreciation for the lender?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the larger debt cancelled.”
“That’s exactly right,” Jesus replied. “This woman is up to her eyeballs in sin, yet she is forgiven. She can’t contain her love!”
At this point, Mr. Shit-Together-Pharisee and his buddies couldn’t focus on anything but the audacity of Jesus thinking he had the authority to forgive sins. The point of Jesus’ story flew over their heads like an F-15. They didn’t recognize their bankrupt condition. Shoot, they were so broke, they couldn’t pay attention! It’s understandable; it’s hard to see your own shit when you’re pointing out everyone else’s.
Humility Doesn’t Compare – It Reveals
What we tend to view as “shit-togetherness” is nothing more than gussied-up-shit. A Disneyland castle surrounding a sewage treatment plant. If this doesn’t ring true for you, or for me, then we’re probably some clueless Pharisees.
The woman who got all cray cray with her love at the feet of Jesus just may be the most shit-together person you’ll ever find. Why? Because humility opens your eyes to what is real. It allows you to see what was previously hidden. And it’s the only way you’ll recognize true love, and graciously accept it. You can be homeless, penniless, and everythingless, but if you find yourself humbly acknowledging your condition in the face of love, like the foot washing woman, you could easily be the most shit-together person on the planet.
So what are you waiting for? Get your shit together!