I discovered a revolutionary product called Poo-Pourri. It’s quite ingenious; just spray the product on the top of the toilet water before you do your business, and your poop won’t stink! The ladies at the boutique say it works perfectly. The product forms a seal on the top of the water so that the smell doesn’t escape. I’m totally serious about this. You can visit their website at http://poopourri.com.

That got me to thinking: we Americans invest quite a bit of energy to avoid the stink. Most of us bathe every day to fight the stink. We wouldn’t think of going out the door without deodorant to keep the mid-day stink away. We spend an ungodly amount of money on perfumes to make us smell good. There is an entire industry devoted to body washes and sprays. Household deodorizers are standard in most American homes. We light candles nearly every day at my house to create a pleasant aroma. And now thanks to Poo-Pourri, praise the Lord, even my poop won’t stink!

So good are we at avoiding unpleasant odors that we’ve deluded ourselves into believing that life isn’t supposed to stink. We’re so accustomed to hiding the stink that we’ve come to believe life doesn’t smell bad. Life smells like flowers, or detergent, or Old Spice, or Midsummer’s Night or something. It has become such an aberration that when it happens we are offended and seek an immediate remedy. Spray the Febreze! Take a shower! Put your shoes back on! Turn on the fart-fan! Just don’t stink up my world!

But try as I might, the stink continues rear its ugly head. I beat it down. I push it back. I overpower it. I wash it off. But life’s stink will not be detoured. It is relentless. No matter how successful I am for a period of time, by the end of the day the stink has found me. I can deceive myself by living as if it isn’t there, but my deception will be short-lived. Not only is the stink a part of life, I have found that it is much of life.

Life is not a pleasant smelling venture interspersed with infrequent and temporary moments of stink. Americans believe this lie and are devastated when they find they can no longer hold back the stink. They think something is terribly wrong with them because their life isn’t odorless. They are shocked when the stink invades their world and there is no remedy like Poo-Pourri.

Life really does stink. I can run from this truth, but it is the truth and eventually I will be forced to deal with it. If I live in this world my life is going to stink. Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop pretending? Wouldn’t my life better if I stopped masking the stink? Wouldn’t I be happier if instead of ignoring the stink, I just stayed close to the One who dealt with stink the best?