Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Digging Down

I was in the kitchen mindlessly juicing some oranges while eating my lunch standing up while trying to answer my three-year-old's non-stop questions while trying to respond to my almost two-year-old's babbling commentary while also doing some dishes.  (For all you SAHM's out there, does this sound familiar?)  In the midst of this cacophony a line from a song on Bob the Builder drifted into my consciousness: "When you build a house, you first have to --."

As I listened my mind finished the line before the words played over my TV.  In my mind, the line went like this: "When you build a house, you first have to lay the foundation."

But that's not what Scratch and Scoop and Dizzy sang.  Nope, they sang "dig a hole."

I paused long enough to register the difference before going back to our multi-tasking lunch hour.  Now, both kids are down for a nap.  I'm in bed getting ready to nap myself, but the song from today's cartoon won't let me rest yet.  I need to write about it. 

I think this metaphor is deeply true.  I think about my marriage: the first years were often about deconstruction - uprooting old trees, tilling soil, removing rocks, aerating, turning over, and, yes, digging down.  Two were becoming one.  It started on our wedding day, but that was only the beginning.  It's a process for old to pass away and new to be born, to grow up.  And the process begins with removing the old and making space for the new.

I think about my faith walk, how over the years He has broken me down time and time again so that, when He builds me up, I am so much stronger, even in my weakness.

I think about how many lies and misconceptions - about myself, God, the world - have had to be dug up before something new, something true could be planted.

Today, in between lunch and nap, the three of us braved the heat to dig in the dirt and fill up old sand castle buckets.  A simple task, one that must have been inspired by Bob's song I guess.  Regardless of the inspiration, it was my son's idea.  In minutes he had us all dirtier than dirt pressing into dusty, dry, cracked land, trying to pry it loose from its packed home.  He said it best when he paused for a moment, wiped his brow and declared: "whew, I'm wore out; I need to rest for a minute."  Yep, digging is hard work.

It's slow work.

It's work that requires concentrated effort.  If you miss a rock or don't create a level bottom to your hole, the whole foundation will be off.

Perhaps this is why God so painstakingly, slowly picks away at our hard, packed, dusty places, pressing deeper into our soil as we yield only.  Perhaps He takes His time with this process because He knows how crucial it is.  Perhaps, in the end, all the whining about "how long will I struggle with ____?" or "why am I still walking in ____ old pattern?" should really be turned around to become: "thank you, Lord, that you will not give up, will not let this go, until I am truly, completely rid of it" or "thank you, Lord, for your persistance for without it, my foundation could never be laid."

Linking up with Jen and the ladies at Soli Deo Gloria.  Enjoy!


  1. I think this is my most favorite thing you have written EVER.

    Gratitude can be found in the most unexpected places.

  2. "...dig a hole..." such a pertinent analogy of how the old passes away (kicking and screaming, sometimes) and all things become new.
    I'm here from SDG. Blessings!

  3. Slow work that takes concentrated effort -- but imminently worth it. Keep digging, Jenny. I'm digging right alongside you.

  4. Sometimes it's tough to thank God when you're going through the refiner's process, but you captured it perfectly here. Loving it!