Bottom of the Barrel


The bottom of the barrel is where the food rots. It’s smelly. The bottom of the barrel appears more empty than full. The bottom of the barrel is dark. No one wants whatever is in the bottom of the barrel.

Why is it that it seems that the bottom of the barrel, the most illogical place to find riches, is where we find God?

Sometimes we have to move toward the illogical in order to find the riches there. The labyrinth is a pathway of prayer. In Chartres, France, there is a well-known labyrinth. This labyrinth was created with a mathematical formula that uses the human body to teach the soul. It causes you to turn left when you think you should be turning right, it takes you far from the center when you think you are closest to the center. It is a learning experience for our bodies to do the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves in unpredictable ways. Jesus taught, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8a) To align our bodies with the movement of the Spirit will take us to places we never expected to go. When walking the labyrinth, an openness to possibility is essential. That means moving toward something we are not attracted to, it means moving toward places that don’t seem familiar. Our souls learn important truths as our bodies move in alignment with the Spirit.

Are we open to taking the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel and making our lives about that? Maybe the thing that is at the bottom of the barrel is the thing that counts the most. It might be the bottom of the barrel that takes us to the riches God intends for our lives, and my friends, we don’t want to miss that!


3 thoughts on “Bottom of the Barrel

    • All the squished fruit at the bottom, yes, has been carrying the weight of the fruit on top. Often times, the bruises and rotten spots don’t mean the fruit is not any good, just overlooked. What is overlooked in your life? Do you feel overlooked? If you spend any time at the bottom of the barrel, I hope you find the depth of God’s love for you.

      The whole church today is often at the bottom of the barrel in the community. It is bruised and rotten for a variety of reasons both internal and external. I spend alot of time there finding the riches of God. There’s lots of love and mercy and grace being unleashed in our world.

      • These are Wonderful and Sincere thoughts Janet. One secular thought that came to mind, but far from the true significance of this writing – When I go to apple butter days where fresh apple butter is being stirred in the big iron kettle I wait around until the end for the thick brown heavily seasoned apple butter that’s at the bottom of the pot. (a psychologist or philosopher might have a field day with this)

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