Potholes along the way

Photo of a pothole taken by the author

Yes, they’re real. Both the pothole and the “repair” to it. I was turning into a shopping center off of a busy highway in our area and almost hit it…. the repair. So, I had to stop and back up to get a quick shot of it to help memorialize someone’s fantastic sense of humor. And, yes, it was in December.

Potholes are a way of life where I live. During a good winter, potholes team up with wrecks to see which can KO the most cars. Learning to play DodgeHole in a moving car is part of the rite of passage from the playground dodgeball kid to being the reason for the latest increase on the family’s auto insurance bill.

Road surfaces do not have the monopoly on potholes, however. Our spiritual lives are susceptible to potholes, and not necessarily because of the fact that we might be a bit salty. (yes, bad pun!) Satan enjoys creating potholes in our hearts. He can tease us into becoming apathetic about our walk. He can lull us into becoming complacent about our spiritual health. Nothing works better at creating those potholes than when our spiritual temperature drops from hot, to warm, and then to cold as everything around us becomes more important than our spiritual condition. When that happens, our spiritual foundations weaken and eventually break.

It’s not difficult for folks to see the early signs of potholes–on the road surfaces or in ourselves. It’s starts with some rather innocuous disturbances of the integrity of the surface in each case. If left alone, the surface disruption will grow and grow until over time it simply gives way to the complete breakdown where all the ugliness that was under the festered surface spills out. In our lives, though often seen as eminent, many tend to simply think of the early stages of the process as a “phase” that one needs to get past. Satan has other ideas. He likes full blown potholes.

A couple of things that road surface and heart potholes have in common are prevention and repair. Each are designed and made to last a lifetime, even if subjected to occasional abuse, if each is carefully monitored and routinely maintained. And when those potholes do occur, each can be made new by some careful cleansing and patient refilling. It takes involvement, and in the case of the potholes of the heart that means involvement:

. with community, church on a regular basis.

. with regular scripture reading, especially with some others

. with both regularly scheduled and spontaneous prayer times

. with involvement in a small group or a community group

. with mentoring someone you can share your life with

. with finding ways to serve your church

. with giving to your church and other causes

The more one strives to live the life that Jesus modeled for us, the less there will be an opportunity for a pothole of the soul to occur.

Joe Miller

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