The Doggie Poop Emotional Maturity Test

God  is wise. God knows that it can’t just call us in for a routine performance evaluation because we’d be scared spitless. We wouldn’t show up, unless maybe our job had called an all-morning, all-staff meeting for that day and we needed an excuse.

So instead, He or She or Whatever does these little spot checks on us without warning us in advance. It’s not judgment, H/S/W would like to know how the hardware and software are performing in the real world (which, need I remind, H/S/W also created. God’s Q/A operation alone is a bigger single line-item than Hell’s entire operating budget).

Essentially: if Andy’s goal is to achieve contentment and inner peace through ongoing spiritual refinement, then what level has Andy reached thus far?

And so, today, on my way to lunch in an area that’s always busy on a beautiful summer weekend, God arranged for there to be two fresh, prominent clumps of dog poop on a sidewalk outside a cafe, spaced a few feet apart and almost dead-center for optimal stepping-in potential, in a manner that’s consistent with Malice Aforethought.

How a human reacts to this before moving on with their day reveals much about their emotional and spiritual maturity. Here’s the spectrum, as I see it:

1) Ha! Oh, man…some tourist is going to step RIGHT IN that! Should I hang around and shoot video?

2) Ugh. People are such selfish idiots. Don’t they realize that there are other people in this world? People who are going to step right in that? Honestly. How much effort does it take to pick up after your dog?

3) Well, that’s how the world works today, isn’t it?

4) It sucks that I have to clean up somebody else’s mess. But they’re jerks and they’re not going to come back, and the thoughtful thing for me to do is to prevent someone from getting their shoes ruined. And it really won’t take more than a moment. I really have no excuse. I’ll just pick it up.

That’s where I landed. A more perfect Andy would have made it to

5) I wonder if the person didn’t clean that up because they have some kind of infirmity that makes it difficulty to bend down. I guess I shouldn’t assume. I’ll just clean that up.

Or a certain state close to spiritual perfection:

6) There’s some dog poop on the sidewalk. I’ll just pick it up.

God also used the remaining time in my performance review tell me that Harriet is a little freaked out that I keep putting my lunch on what she considers to be “her” part of the second shelf in the breakroom fridge, and we all know that Harriet’s a little high-strung, and I’m not really to blame for anything, but maybe I could just keep that in mind for her sake.

(God communicated this through the level of hand cleaner remaining in the cafe’s washroom. God’s ways, I remind you, are often mysterious, but God’s will is always clear.)