As I type, I am currently waiting out these next few hours before I can enroll in my fall semester classes for my senior year. It is crazy to believe that in just a few weeks, I will be a senior in college. I am graduating early in order to save a few bucks but mainly I am graduating early to have a few years to get my hands dirty. For once in my life, I finally understand what it means to get your hands dirty.
This past spring break I had an amazing opportunity to go to Nashville, Tennessee to learn about social justice and putting faith into action through TCU’s Faith Acts organization. Over the course of the week, I was able to meet some of the most amazing, God loving people. I hung on to every word these passionate and inspirational people spoke. The most important word of advice this diverse group of people gave was: jump right in, be willing to scrub toilets, and don’t be afraid to get dirty.
I’ve never been afraid of a little dirt, but I always had this feeling that the world was telling me that I should be afraid of dirt. Dictionary.com defines dirt as any foul or filthy substance. Our world is terribly afraid of getting dirty and being seen as foul or filth. The term dirty is used to describe the sick, the poor, mentally ill, minorities, and the marginalized. There is pressure in today’s age to rid ourselves of all our dirt so that we can be perfect, clean individuals.
It took long conversations with God for me to accept and embrace myself getting dirty. I realized that the desire to be a perfect, clean individual was something that I didn’t want. The desire for perfection came from the world around me. Perfection is impossible and it takes too much effort to be constantly giving off the impression that I have my life together. Life is messy and the wasted time and effort spent trying to clean up life can be used for something more important and in line with God’s purpose for my life. Real, honest life requires getting dirty. While I have learned some things in the classroom, I have learned so much more about myself, others, God, and the world outside of the classroom, with my hands in the dirt.
I believe in getting dirty. I prefer it. It doesn’t line up with what society deems a perfect clean life, however I’d much rather spend my life with my hands in the dirt trying to make sense of the world than have the world tell me how to make sense of myself. Getting dirty, serving others and putting my faith into action is what I want in life. It is all I’ve ever wanted.
So while I’m still waiting for that class portal to open and for senior year and all that it brings, I’m looking forward to getting dirty the most. Get dirty with me. Go try something you’ve always wanted to try but were too afraid to go through with. Go smile at a stranger. Go call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Go volunteer. Go make disciples. Go for a run. Go do what your heart tells you. After all, the Lord God formed a man from the DIRT of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being [Genesis 2:7].
Abby Henegar is a rising senior at Texas Christian University from Centralia, Illinois. She is a psychology major, sociology minor involved in Disciples on Campus and Faith Acts. She is very thankful for the amazing opportunities TCU has and will continue to provide for her to live out her faith.