Background: Do you remember the Peanuts character Pigpen? You know, the one that rolled with Charlie Brown. Yeah, the dusty one. Felt like him today.

I made the mistake of going to look at our house that is under construction on the way to the gym. I’m wearing my new tennis shoes and I’m deceived by the dry-looking dirt, only to find myself sinking in mud with every step. So now I must try to clean my shoes at the gym in time to make it to class. Well Pigpen shows up in the class. As I jump and squat, chips of dirt fall off my shoes, leaving a little earthen area around me. I knew this would happen, but I was determined to workout today. I participated in class and tried to minimally acknowledge the acre of dirt I was dispensing in my corner of the room. But on the inside I was ashamed of my dirt, but held my head high, because I needed to get my workout in.

Unlike me, the character Pigpen embraced his dirt. His attempts at being clean quickly bit the dust, and he proudly lived life in the dirty cloud. I almost didn’t show up to class. I had such a hard time getting the shoes cleaned, I had actually put the shoes back in my gym bag and was about to leave, but something inside me said don’t quit, you can get those shoes cleaned. So I pulled them back out and tried again. It was messy, and the shoes were wet by time I got them clean enough to emerge from the locker room. But I wanted the workout more than I was ashamed of my muddy shoes. I believe this was Pigpen’s philosophy. If I can’t stay clean, I’m just going to live life in this dirty cloud and be happy. Now I was not happy about the muddy shoes, but I bet no one in that room could tell. (Disclaimer: Pigpen’s dirty cloud was made up of dirt. Your dirty cloud should not consist of sin, you can’t just give up on living a sin free life and be happy with that. In no way does that please God, and he doesn’t accept that. I’m referring to the personal or physical flaws, quirks and past mistakes that we no longer engage in but have lingering consequences).

With her hands, the P31 was spinning thread, twisting fibers, planting vineyards, and butchering meat. I’m sure her hands had to get rough at times. But this didn’t stop her from sensually touching her husband, closing business deals with a handshake, or extending her hand to the needy. Some people put so much effort into hiding their flaws or mistakes that they forfeit opportunities to enhance their life. Flaws and mistakes don’t have to break us and they certainly don’t disqualify us, even though we might be tricked into thinking that. Flaws and mistakes build character and uniqueness. Both of which may be necessary to set you apart from the crowd.

I may have been the one in that class with dirty shoes, but I wasn’t the only in there with flaws. Mine just happened to accumulate around me with every movement. No one is without flaw. Flaws are normal. But let them define you in a positive way instead of deterring you from living a fulfilled life. The P31 was a fulfilled woman, Pigpen was a fulfilled little boy. I got my exercise in, putting me one step closer to fulfilling my 3x/week goal for working out. Stop hiding the muddy things in your life. Clean them up as best you can and get busy.

References: Proverbs 31: 12,13,15,16,19,20,24 and the internet for history on Pigpen.

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