Potholes and tree trunks
by Mick Schatz
ROSCOMMON, MI – It’s Springtime at Bambi Lake Retreat and Conference Center! At least it is trying to be. Barring any new “polar vortex”, most of the snow has melted away revealing multiple shades of brown in its absence.
The roads once frozen with ice and snow are now muddy and bumpy with potholes. To combat the potholes and keep our vehicles from bouncing apart we periodically drag the road and grade it to fill the holes and make the road as smooth as possible.
Over the past few years, I have discovered that no matter how many times I drag dirt into certain potholes, they always seem to form again in a few days. This can prove very frustrating.
When you spend several hours pulling dirt around and filling holes only to have them open again within a few days it can be very annoying. On the surface it makes sense that if you fill the hole with dirt, it should stay filled and level out with the rest of the road. Nevertheless, no matter how much dirt I put in the holes they always seem to form again.
Being very curious about this phenomenon, I sought answers from some of the great minds who work with me. I was informed there was probably an old tree stump or trunk that had been buried years earlier and was in a constant state of decay. In other words, it was rotting slowly away underneath causing the hole to continually form. No matter how much dirt I put in the hole it would always sink away because of the rotten decay underneath. The hole will never fill up.
This never-ending, hole filling exercise has served as an object lesson for my heart to contemplate. The lesson being this: if we allow unconfessed sin to remain in our lives, it will rot and decay in our souls and produce potholes in our life.
Our natural inclination is to cover-up or rationalize our sin and put on a pretty face so that on the surface we look great. We try to fill the pothole with anything that will take the focus off our sin and maintain appearances. We try to fill the hole with worldly pleasures, relationships, work, or even religious activity the list could go on.
How exhausting it is to keep filling a hole that will never stay filled. How exhausting it is to keep up appearances, and continually display a fraudulent face. However, no matter how much time and energy we expend filling the hole, it will never stay full.
Confession and the forgiveness of Christ by His grace and mercy is the only permanent solution. Only He can forgive and only He can satisfy. Ephesians 1:7-8 puts it this way:
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence”.
It’s time to stop wasting our energy filling the hole - we need to receive forgiveness and start overflowing with the riches of His grace into the lives of others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.