The other day, as I was taking my son to school, I passed a spot in the road that I've learned to avoid because of a persistent pothole. As I carefully slowed in anticipation, I thought about the fact that this pothole has been "repaired" many times, but after every heavy rain, it appears once more. Once again, those 'random thoughts' started turning in my head.
That pothole shows up after every heavy rain. Maybe the problem isn't the rain, maybe the rain is simply revealing an ongoing structural problem that is simply being given a bandaid to try and repair it. That's alot like our lives. Rain doesn't cause the problems, it simply reveals them. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust alike, the difference is how that rain effects them. Life is going to have problems, but often we blame what is happening to us on the problem when in fact it is a "structural defect" within us that is simply being revealed.
Perhaps my problem isn't lack of funds; perhaps it is how I have set up my lifestyle. Perhaps the problem isn't my health; perhaps it's the choices I've made or my lack of self discipline. Perhaps my problem isn't that grouchy person I have to work or go to school with, (or even live with); perhaps it is my low self esteem or lack of patience or selfishness (how dare they ruin my day!) Perhaps the problem isn't my teacher or boss; perhaps it is what kind of student or worker I have shown myself to be. Perhaps the problem isn't what the person said or did; perhaps it's my anger. You get the picture.
This analogy can go into many different realms. Perhaps the problem with anything isn't what we perceive it to be. Perhaps it is simply revealing an area we truly need to make changes to in ourselves or our nation. Since I can't seem to do much about the nation, (see earlier blog about no one asking me!) then I guess it's up to me to make the changes in me.
If I don't like the way my kids act, I might need to look at my behavior toward them and others. (They do learn from me, especially that which I wish they didn't!) If I don't like the way my neighborhood is, perhaps I need to look and see if I'm making a difference there. If I don't like the way things are done at my job, perhaps I need to look at what part I might play in the problem, whether in attitude or action. If I don't like the way my government is doing things, perhaps I need to look at what I am doing to make a difference in that area. Now, I realize there are areas that "hit us" that we had nothing to do with! We can't control those things - only our reactions to them. Maybe the reason for our storm isn't so much for us, as to help someone around us see how we go about weathering what life throws at us. Maybe they need to watch us "fix the potholes" so they will know how to accomplish the same in their own lives.
We all have "potholes" in our lives. It's up to us to take the time and effort (and sometimes painful expense - metaphorical and sometimes actual) and fix it. Putting another patch on it may seem to work for a while, but rest assured, it will rain again. If you don't want to constantly have to avoid that pothole, you're gonna have to do something about it.
May you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy "Pothole Fixing" New Year.