I wrote this article in December 2012.
So, this morning I didn’t pick up my crap…
We live in a townhome neighborhood with a HOA. As residents of our community, like most other communities, we are expected to pick up our dogs ‘business’ when we take them for a walk. I could give you reasons why it didn’t happen this morning, but it didn’t. I failed to do my part and clean up the dog poop.
I’ve always thought it a strange notion anyways. The poop will be gone in a few days… but that’s beside the point. Rules are rules.
The only reason I share is because I got called out. As I was walking back to my house, I heard a loud, boisterous “Good Morning!” from a gentleman about 8 doors down. It took a moment to register that he was speaking to me. I didn’t have my contacts in and wasn’t really focused on him from a distance, but I think he was standing outside of his home smoking a cigarette. It took me a second, but I looked back and said ‘Good Morning’. I am not really a morning person (ask my wife), so I am sure it did not sound enthusiastic. Immediately he began to proceed with “It would be nice if you could pick up your dog crap!”
To be honest, I was a little caught off guard. As I was stepping into the house, the only response I could think of was ‘Thanks for the warning!’ If you knew my dad… well… That’s something he would say. It just came out.
When I got inside and began to go upstairs and get ready for work, I was a little annoyed. Pretty frustrated, actually. I thought to myself a few thoughts:
‘That guy needs to mind is own business!’
‘Doesn’t he have better things to do then be the poop police’
‘Where he saw me not pick up the poop was in a field, not in front of someone’s house’
The thoughts were numerous. But you get the drift. Normal thoughts, all of us would probably think. Defending our position…
But then I thought… He IS right, isn’t he? I should. Isn’t it the law? While it was tough to hear and maybe could have been delivered better, I cannot argue with what he said.
While it seems such a small task, I think it is all about integrity.
What if someone followed us around all day and pointed out everything that we did wrong? What if every time we told a fib, ran a stop sign, talked behind someone’s back or just did something that seems so insignificant at the moment… What if there was someone standing there to say “Pick up your poop!”
We are called to live with integrity. What that means to me is to stand up for what is right. To uphold the law, not matter how small. While there may be things we disagree with, it doesn’t matter. There are laws in place for a reason. We must be obedient in that.
I’ve always had the thought of ‘If I have integrity in situations God will honor that. God will reward me.’ While I think there is truth to that, I feel there is another side to that. How about doing something with Integrity, doing the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do…? Not for a reward, not to show people you are doing the right thing… Just become a person of integrity and do the right thing in every situation you encounter. Of course there is grace and mercy provided by Our Father in Heaven when we fail. But I believe it is like anything else… You can workout your integrity ‘muscles’ and it will become something of second nature in time.
I will leave you with a few verses about Integrity:
Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Proverbs 2:6-8 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.
Psalm 2:20-21 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it …
1 Kings 9:4-5 And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ (The LORD speaking to Solomon)