January 2nd, 2016| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Yup, that’s what it said. “Cow Dung Patties Selling Like Hot Cakes!” The item is flying off online shelves in India: cow-dung patties.

In case you didn’t know, this commodity is cow droppings blended with straw and dried in sunlight. Reliable sources of fuel in rural areas of Africa and Asia, they are cheap, efficient, and reduce consumption of wood and thus, pollution—a sustainable and renewable energy source.

No one is sure why, but the demand for these goods on Amazon and eBay is soaring, particularly in urban parts of India. Some speculate that it feeds the nostalgia of city folks for their rural days and childhoods spent in villages.

BTW, you can get a discount for large orders. And if your heart so desires, they can also be gift wrapped!

Said Madhavi Kochar, an Amazon India spokeswoman:

Cow-dung cakes have been listed by multiple sellers on our platform since October and we have received several customer orders. The orders come mostly from cities where it would be difficult to buy dung cakes.”

Cow dung cakes are also of value for fires employed in Hindu rituals. Perhaps that’s the reason the demand has spiked during the recent season of the Diwali (“festival of lights”). In fact, patties sold out during the celebrations in last month.

Noted Radhika Agarwal of ShopClues, a major online retailer in India:

Around Diwali, when people do a lot of pujas [religious rituals honoring various deities] in their homes and workplaces, there is a lot of demand for cow dung cakes. Plus, increasingly, in the cold weather, people are keeping themselves warm by lighting fires at outdoor events. And folks who grew up in rural areas find the peaty smell of dung fires pleasant. It reminds them of the old days.”

Hey, the Bible accepts use of animal excreta.

Then He said to me, “See, I will give you cow’s dung …
over which you will prepare your bread.”
Ezekiel 4:15

Even for food (though that wasn’t cow dung) …

There was a great famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it,
until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver,
and a fourth of a kab [a measure of volume] of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.
2 Kings 6:25

Just in case you were interested, those cow “cakes” that are the rage in India come in packs containing two to eight pieces, each weighing about a quarter pound. And they go for about Indian Rupees 100 to 400 ($1.50 to $6) per pack.

FYI, these things are utilized here in the US as well—for that eclectic and elite sport called “cow chip throwing.” Robert Deevers of Elgin, OK, holds the dubious distinction for a record-breaking throw of aforementioned chip de cow: 185 feet 5 inches (on April 21, 2001).

But the most evocative use of the word “dung” (the Greek skybala) in the Bible is this:

I count all things to be loss
in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them but skybala so that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:8

Said my Dallas Seminary colleague and noted New Testament scholar, Dan Wallace:

The term conveys both revulsion and worthlessness in this context. In Hellenistic Greek it seems to stand somewhere between ‘crap’ and ‘s**t’” [asterisks original].

Everything is worthless, futile, rubbish, dung-like, when weighed against knowing Christ and him as Lord!

May he—day by day, more and more—be Lord of our lives in 2016.

Everything else is …!

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