What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Stump

Ever since we moved into the present building we're leasing in which to "do" church, I have been perplexed by an old stump at the very back corner of the parking lot. Most folks probably never even noticed it.

I did for two reasons.

One: I'm a neat freak about church parking lots and grounds. I just don't ever want someone to drive by our facility or into our parking lot and think, "These people must not take their worship very seriously because, if they did, this area would look neater and cleaner." I realize they may not say those exact words to themselves, but that might be the impression they get. And with an impression like that they may never want to meet the great God we serve and the great people with whom we worship.

Two: I hate it when someone doesn't finish what they start. A tree stump is a classic case of not finishing what was begun. Someone cut the tree down and didn't want to to go the trouble and the hard part of removing the unsightly stump.

So ever since we moved in I have been strategizing about its removal. It was encased in a mound of dirt with two large roots protruding off the sides. I didn't want to rent a stump grinder because I'm thrifty. So I've put off doing anything about it until recently. I got out the shovel and little by little took away the dirt. My plan was to have Jeff from the church bring his chain saw and cut it out.

But when I got to the subterranean portion of the stump this afternoon, I was in for a surprise. After years of being left to its ugliness - the stump was rotten below the surface. I applied some torque with my shovel and voila - the stump and its roots were broken into three large pieces and thrown into the dumpster!

My observation about this event is that we often obsess in life about problems that aren't as difficult as we perceived them to be. There's a rottenness to most difficulties in life that make commitment and perserverance pay off. We're often faced with the pleasant surprise that the only thing lacking in overcoming the stumps in our lives is commitment to roll up our sleeves and go to work.


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