Last year I had some drainage problems in my back yard. Part of the fix was to dig up and replace one of the drainage pipes that went to the front yard along the driveway. The area was covered with grass and weeds so I assumed the pipe was buried in the dirt; however, when I went to pull up the pipe I found that it was actually buried in gravel. Dirt and weeds had just covered the top over time. So I pulled up the crushed pipe, replaced it with a new one. I was getting a little frustrated with how long the project was taking, so instead of burying the pipe in clean gravel, I put the gravel/dirt mixture back down and stored the extra gravel in a wheel barrel in the back yard. I figured after a few good rains, the dirt would wash away and it look great. I was right.
Fast forward to this year. While the rain had washed away a lot of the dirt, a layer still remained underneath. Weeds were starting to grow through the gravel. PISSED. By April the area was 80% covered with weeds…more PISSED.
So I decided to pull up a few inches of gravel and do it right. Figured the gravel in the back would be nice and clean after 9 months of rain. WRONG. While the top layer appeared nice and clean on the surface, it was as muddy as ever underneath. So I had to clean the gravel before putting it back down…I even put down a weed cloth to prevent anything else from growing. Clean gravel no weeds….#Winning!
I was about to put the dirty gravel I dug up in the same wheel barrel as before. Then the inspiration for this blog hit me. Two points:
- Whether it’s laying down dirty gravel and expecting weeds not to grow, or making the same bad choices in life expecting different results … we can’t keep doing the same thing expecting different results. We as Christians go through trials which should make us stronger and smarter, but some of us (including myself) have to experience weeds a few times before we try a different approach.
- We are the gravel in the wheel barrel. Months of rain washed over the gravel— making them appear clean, pure and ready for use, on the surface. But because of what was holding it, they could never really be cleansed of the dirt that was preventing it from fulfilling its purpose. Let me rephrase: Things we do or don’t do may make us appear clean and pure, on the surface; but until we’re ready to let go of the dirt that’s holding us back on the inside, we won’t be able to fulfill our purpose.
Manifestation #4110 that I’ve grown in Christ: Looking Below the Surface