May 1, 2008

I Once Dug a Hole THIS BIG!

It was the 5th Grade. I had this brilliant idea that would never have even presented itself if the stupid school hadn't put the teacher's phone numbers in the directory. Nevertheless, one day as I was captivated with boredom I thought, "Let's call some teachers...and have some fun!" I know, it's childish and immature. HELLLLLO, I was in the 5th Grade! So I did it. It was fun. Lots of fun.

One thing to note about young boys - nothing we do that is fun, adventurous, daring or otherwise is brought to completion until we've bragged about it. So I went to school the next day and told my circle of buddies. Thing about this circle, there was 1 kid in the circle that I hadn't invited. Paul Cardona didn't like me for some reason, so I in turn did not like him.

A few days later the Principal came over the intercom and let the whole school know, "Someone has been making inappropriate phone calls to some of our teachers. If you have ANY information pertaining to this, please let us know." My first thought was, "Ha. I'm invisible, I'm infamous, and I'm GOOD!" And ego-boosting mental parade came to a screeching halt as I watched Paul Cardona walk across the room to the teacher's desk, whisper in her ear, all the while glancing over at me as if to say, "Welcome to my little prison you preppy schmuck!" And this is where the digging began.
[Brian now picks up his shovel]

After hearing the dreaded broadcast: "Brian Mayfield..........Please come to the office" I made the long journey down the halls. Mr. Jones, our Principal, was an older, larger, hairier version of Gene Hackman...and he frightened me. So much so that I began to inform him that I had no idea what he was talking about and that Paul must be making up this crafted lie to get back at me for kissing his cousin Angela out on the baseball field and this must be phase 1 of his plot of revenge. 
[Can you see the dirt flying? I'm digging the hole.]

I remember on the ride home, as my Dad had picked me up from school so I could begin my 3 day hiatus (also known as suspension) that he told me, "Son, I'll stand behind you in this as long as you're telling me the truth." [Can you feel the guilt burning through my intestines at this point] "Thanks, I know Dad." Well, if I did know I wasn't exercising his invitation to spill the beans and I wasn't calling the bluff. I was going to ride this roller coaster until it derailed and killed and maimed everyone on board. I spent 3 days in prison, going to seminary class with my Dad, doing classwork while watching Gilligan's Island, and listening to that same speech: "Son, I don't care if you did this or not. It was dumb and stupid, but you say you're sorry and go on with life. But if you're lying to me..................[no other words needed to burn the point into my frontal lobe and small intestine]

I had dug this hole so deep - I had refused to put down my shovel and stop digging - because as we know, 1 lie requires 4 more to cover it up. But in all honestly, that's a fat load of crappe diem! You can recite as many "cover up" soliloquies your heart desires, it won't do the job. I was so deep in my self-shoveled hole that I could no longer see daylight. And I knew the humiliation awaiting me at some point was going to be painful and embarrassing, but it was going to come as sure as the sun is hot. 
[Do you feel sorry for me yet? Don't you want to take the shovel out of my pour, calloused hands? Of course not.]

What's the point? Simple. When we finally realize that we've dug ourselves into this pit of deception and humiliation, we begin asking and wondering, "How will I ever climb out of here? There's no ladder...I can't even see the top. AAAAHHHHHHH." And then we realize - God doesn't ask us to climb, scratch, claw, or dig our way out of the hole. He says, "Repent" and let me pull you out. God's grace says, "Stop digging, put down the shovel, TELL THE TRUTH, and let me cover you." No, this does not mean that there will not be any humiliation or consequences. God usually doesn't take those away because that's His way of telling us, "Don't start digging again, bonehead." But He walks with us and covers us as we walk through the humiliation and consequences.

So now you know my story. I once dug a hole THIS BIG! 
And lived to tell about it. 
If you start thinking about digging, just throw away the shovel.

1 comment:

The Ken said...

Great story! - I don't have any like that. :|