Before checking out of my hotel, I decided I really needed a good workout at the gym. I had just been through a rigorous seminar weekend and was gloriously drained and inspired concomitantly. Walking outside by the pool on my way to the gym, a sign caught my eye. “Persons having currently active diarrhea or who have had active diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall not be allowed to enter the pool water.” Immediately I burst out into laughter and took a picture of the sign to remind me of the absurdity of it. My thoughts as I started cardio were, “Are you kidding me? Why would there need to be a sign posted to keep persons with a gastrointestinal malady out of a public swimming pool? Is this not obvious? Common sense surely would prevail.
As I was increasing my heart rate on the elliptical, a still small voice inside commanded my attention. I dismounted my high horse and listened. I was reminded during the seminar I discovered my own crampy, explosive, and foul smelling sins that I had conveniently been masking. Trust me, I was strategic at making myself right and looking the part. I said the all the correct words to support this and believed it wholeheartedly. When making strides towards peace, I did not feel complete after a long overdue conversation. Prompted by my small group from the seminar standing for my success, I was blatantly told, “Linda, you have not truly forgiven. You need to be free.” Good bye self-righteousness. Hello humility. They were absolutely correct. I was grateful for the honesty and yet felt “crappy” at the same time. It took me a full day to process what I had done. Spending time with God and getting real about my unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment helped me see what were obvious signs to others. My “diarrhea” was keeping me from being allowed to move forward to where I want to go.
Ephesians 4: 31, 32 NLT says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” This is not stated as a suggestion, and I was living as though it was. Is this easy? Gracious, no. Is there a lot of cleanup necessary? Yes, and with a strong disinfectant. So as I make the necessary amends being authentic about that ugliness inside of me, I then experience the true freedom I’ve been longing for. And that is when I get to do the biggest cannonball in the pool that I am no longer restricted from. True liberation. SPLASH!