July 14, 2011


My Dad had more stories from his time in Vietnam than he was willing to share. But one story that he told me on several occasions still sends chills down my spine. One insanely hot day (which in my understanding was descriptive of just about every day he spent there) my Dad had been ordered to finish digging a foxhole. Assuming that, like me, you've never been in a foxhole, this is a large hole in the ground where soldiers can take cover or rally when under fire. (Never actually heard of a fox being in a foxhole. That's weird. Moving on.) So my Dad is digging this foxhole and he's probably about shoulder to neck deep when he throws a pile of dirt and notices in his periphery that the "stick" in the dirt was moving. Not thinking much of it, he just kept digging. Until he noticed out of the corner of his eye that the "stick" was now sitting upright and staring at him. [This is where it gets good.] As you've most likely figured out, this was no stick. No, my friends, it was a king cobra! The mother of all venomous nastiness was staring my father straight in the face. And all he could tell us after that was that he jumped straight out of the hole, ran for his life, and never looked back. [Some 40 years later, that shovel might still be laying in that hole!]

At some point in time, we all start digging a hole. It may be that we get really used to doing something a certain way and don't even remember WHY we started doing it. Maybe for you it started with something you said or did - something you should have humbly shut down, apologized for, or even repented of - and you just kept right on going. Addictions don't start that way; they originate with bad choices and bad habits. This divide didn't grow between you and your spouse because of an argument last week. That was just the final pile of dirt that you hoisted over your shoulder. And if I ever have a heart attack, it won't be because of that one order of waffle fries. You can blame the 10,000 waffle fries that paved the way. So many times there is such a simple starting place for us - the solution to begin growing, recovering, restoring, repairing, or breathing new life is as simple as this: STOP DIGGING!

Here's reality: Most of us aren't going to have a 30 pound poisonous snake to awaken us from our slumber to pry the shovel out of our hand. And while most of us aren't stupid enough to wish for that, what we don't realize is that it might be the thing that saves our life. Or our marriage. Or our career. Or our church. STOP DIGGING! And unless you have said snake drop in to shock life back into you, you're going to need a fresh perspective. And not wanting to drop another bomb on you, but YOU will probably not have that fresh, objective perspective. It will have to come from someone or somewhere else. You may have to ask someone to tell you what you really don't want to hear. [But you DO want to hear it, because you know that you're tired of digging this hole that's leading you to absolutely nowhere!]

Are you currently digging a hole?
Is there a shovel that you know you need to put down?

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