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Summary: If you want to make an impact, sometimes you're going to have to get dirty.

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Dirty Jobs: Making an Impact

When my dad was in ninth grade, he had an after school job at a chicken farm in Iowa. He was very excited about his job, which consisted of unloading feed bags, feeding the chickens, shoveling loads of chicken poo, and collecting eggs. While he gathered the eggs, he would wash out their water trough to ensure they would have clean water (chickens are disgusting animals, and would use their trough like a toilet). One afternoon he was told to gather the eggs on the second floor of one of the chicken coops. He would walk up the wooden stairs, gather a box full of eggs, and walk down to put them in a flat. Each flat would hold 30 dozen eggs. One trip, though, he forgot to turn the water off and the trough overflowed. Water started coming down the wooden stairs like a miniature waterfall! So Dad had a little waterfall of water and chicken poo coming down the stairs -- right where he had to walk to deliver the eggs!

Dad tried to bring a box of eggs down the stairs and lost his balance. He landed in the flat of eggs at the bottom of the stairs, covered in egg, water, and chicken poo! When his boss came to check on him, he just started laughing. The only thing that Dad really hurt was his pride.

Sometimes in life, you’re going to get dirty. Sometimes, you will be told to do something that will mean that you’re going to get covered in poo.

Don’t believe me? It happened in the Bible. Turn to Judges 3:12-30.

12Once again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight, and the Lord gave King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil. 13Eglon enlisted the Ammonites and Amalekites as allies, and then he went out and defeated Israel, taking possession of Jericho, the city of palms. 14And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years.

15But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin. The Israelites sent Ehud to deliver their tribute money to King Eglon of Moab. 16So Ehud made a double-edged dagger that was about a foot long, and he strapped it to his right thigh, keeping it hidden under his clothing. 17He brought the tribute money to Eglon, who was very fat.

18After delivering the payment, Ehud started home with those who had helped carry the tribute. 19But when Ehud reached the stone idols near Gilgal, he turned back. He came to Eglon and said, “I have a secret message for you.”

So the king commanded his servants, “Be quiet!” and he sent them all out of the room.

Let me stop a moment here. Ehud was left-handed, so he put his sword on his right leg. This doesn’t quite make sense until you try to draw a sword of your own. . It was obviously well-known that he was left-handed, too. Some scholars think that his right hand may have been deformed, even, because the palace guards obviously didn’t see him as a threat. They probably checked his left side for weapons -- like they did everyone else, who are right-handed -- and waved him through. This is probably the reason that they allowed him alone in the throne room with the king in the first place.

20Ehud walked over to Eglon, who was sitting alone in a cool upstairs room. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you!” As King Eglon rose from his seat,21Ehud reached with his left hand, pulled out the dagger strapped to his right thigh, and plunged it into the king’s belly.22The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud did not pull out the dagger, and the king’s bowels emptied.

OK, ok. This part of the story always makes me think of a James Bond movie. First, Ehud walks over to Eglon. Remember, King Eglon is very fat -- whenever I read this story I can’t help but see him in my head as someone who is wider than they’re tall. He walks over and gives him the witty one-liner, “I have a message from God for you!” Eglon starts to stand up, at which point Ehud pulls his sword and stabs Eglon right in the fat. Ehud stabs him so deep and Eglon is so fat that the sword is gone -- it’s completely covered in fat!

Also, let’s not forget that he stabbed Eglon in the belly. Despite the name, your belly is not where your stomach is (that’s up higher), but it’s where your intestines are. When Eglon was stabbed in the intestines, his bowels emptied. Essentially, he went poo. Since there were two new, friendly holes in his intestines now, it’s not unlikely that some of the poo came out of those holes and all over Ehud!

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