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Some of my favorite trips or vacations are where I get to take a long run. Through parks, subdivisions, and back roads. But, my favorite runs always involve water – along a river, lake or ocean. I have run in some incredible places.

Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, DC., Madison, Wisconsin, Dallas. Just a few which come to mind.

On those runs one word can usually capture the time.


I worship. I talk to God. I dream.

Long runs along a body of water are awesome. Love it.

I have come to this realization though:

The best places to run all have some common characteristics.

The best cities in which to run, in my opinion, have these attributes in common:

A body of water.

A path beside the body of water.

The peace and tranquility of running on the path beside the body of water.

The chance to connect with nature and God along the body of water.

But, here’s the other thing I learned – and the point of this post.

The best places to run require dodging geese poop.

(Sorry if you don’t think a nice blog like this, written by a mostly nice pastor like me, about leadership and life, should use an analogy – or a word = like “poop” in a post. I guess I could call them geese droppings, but that doesn’t seem to capture what they drop.)

But, it is true. If you want to run in the best places –

You’ve got to dodge the geese poop.

And, right about now, you’re wondering why you’re even still reading this post. I understand.

Well, it’s because – once as I was dodging the geese poop – it occurred to me.

The same principle is true in life and leadership.

You can settle for mediocre.

You can choose to go for second best.

You can compromise before the right decision is made.

You can refuse the risk you might get dirty.

But, if you want to experience the best life has to offer.

If you want to settle for nothing but the right decision.

You have to dodge the geese poop of life.

The path to the best places in life are often lined with difficulties along the way.

(By the way, for my pastor friends, this principle has been true for me in church planting and church revitalization. We’ve dodged a lot of geese droppings.)

Following your dream – achieving God’s plan for your life – maximizing your goals and ambitions – those aren’t easy. They never are. They require a lot of faith, a lot of hard work, and a lot of prayer and patience.

It’s messy, filled with setbacks, conflict and obstacles. There will be times we are tempted to give up, choose an easier route, or quit before the end is in sight.

It’s a choice. You can choose where you want to run. You can stay on the boring and safe treadmill of life if you want, but, as for me, no doubt about it, whenever I get the chance, I’m choosing to run by the body of water.

I’ll just watch out for and endure the geese poop, because I know it’s a part of the path.

Are you on one of those body of water paths of life right now?

Are there a lot of “droppings” in your way?

Don’t give up – the Glorious part comes to those who endure!

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 21 Comments

  • serenity says:

    This sounds similar to a blog I wrote once about being a Pastor’s wife called “There’s always a little poop in the fishbowl.”

  • Planting Potatoes says:

    good read Ron! We live in what we believe to be God's paradise up here in the mountains….and I love to walk through the forest to my favorite thinking spot…and I have to watch out for the deep poop! (I can say that because my wife is upstairs) 🙂 God bless!

  • Jodee says:

    Yep! Being a runner, I can relate. Yep, being alive – I can still relate. Yep, being a person that finds myself in leadership rolls (duh, that's why I read your blog!) – I can relate!

    Funny that I read this right after I was listening to the news about the stranded cruise ship. Quote from a passenger: "Every deck became the 'poop deck'." I'm sure there are several analogies on that quote!

  • It is critical that we need to focus on the important things in life. And the right things. It is very easy to divert our attention to the unnecessary and trivial things in life.

  • dsprtlydpndnt

    Coming from a late 40 something woman I bet your wife liked it too.
    I run often around a hilly lake, many geese. I often talk to the animals and I remind the geese their job is to honk their horns. The birds sing to the Creator and King who knows and loves them. Sometimes I talk to people too! Perspective; geese poop means geese somewhere. A good jazz band (running is like jazz to me) involves horns. I have a long run tomorrow. Sure I will think of this post. And give thanks.
    On our race of life, noticing life is key! Excrement and all.
    Praying for your transition.

  • @Bryankr says:

    I have to agree, the path I most want is full of "poop"! I also have to say, there are times when I wonder if there is ever going to be a time when I will ever find a path that has what I would like to have on this path, but NO POOP!? The answer is simple: No. I get tire of it. I do enjoy the challenge! Never the same thing twice; always having to be in God's presence, because I can't do this on my own. Paul's thorn in the side? Makes me mindful of just whose Ministry this really is.

  • Tina says:

    Thanks for this post today…I have been really frustrated with a lot of our ministry direction..and there's a lot of crap stinking up the way to progress or forward movement. The analogy was great, gave me a chuckle, and helped me to believe that the goal is worth stepping in the poop sometimes.

  • wendyhardin says:

    Agreed! SO very TRUE! We live by a creek and there are many new geese and ducks…just the other day I pondered how strange it was to maneuver around their mess…but I chose the path because it is so beautiful! Geese mess and all!

    • ronedmondson says:

      Amen!Although Amen sounds like a strange response to anything to do with this post 🙂

  • Joe Lalonde says:

    Haha… We have plenty of places like that in our city. Being close to the water is amazing but the geese poop can be hazardous!

    Going through life though it seems rather than dodging the geese poop on the ground Satan is tossing it at us from every angle. Requiring us to dodge, bob, and weave.

  • Melissa says:

    I absolutely run a river path, dodging the poop…but choosing to look at God's beauty and blessings along the way….and yes, occasionally I step in a fresh dropping!