On the street right in front of my place there is a pot hole. Over the last couple of months the city has repaired it at least 5 times but it keeps opening back up. In fact each time it seems to get a little worse than the time previous. I could talk about the wastefulness of this whole process and crack a joke or 2 at city workers expense but I'm looking at it in a different way. I'm big on symbolism. To me it is what we all do at times in our lives. We do quick fixes when really we need to do some extensive reconstruction. We put a band aid on it and pretend it is all better. I'll use an example from my own life.
I came to know and submit to God as an adult but had spent many years rebelling against his calling. Over those many years I picked up some bad habits or succumbed to my sinful nature or both. I used f bombs(amongst other swear words) as a verb, adjective, noun and perhaps even as a conjunction. Upon being convicted I weaned myself off by using substitute words. One day I was in traffic and was using one of my substitute words when it hit me.
I had a moment of clarity and realized that not only was using f bombs etc bad but what was worse were the emotions behind them. I realized that they were born out of selfish indignation, out of anger, out of frustration and just about every other negative emotion. I was patching up the surface damage while leaving the shifting earth untouched. What I really had to do was get rid of those negative thoughts and feelings, get to the root cause and irradicate that pothole in my life. It has been several years now and while I am still inclined to get angry on occasion it is much less frequent and I recognize it for what it is much quicker. I still utter the odd taboo word from time to time it has drastically changed. It has been a lot of work. I credit a program called freedom session for a great deal of help along this path. God deserves all the credit though and he has been right there with me along the way. God is love and goodness, anger is something we are allowed to feel and it is perfectly natural but you should not let it control your emotions and your life. Anger is not sin but often we do sin in our anger which is what I am still refining.
Jars of Clay said it well with these lyrics in Jealous kind...
If I should slow my pace and finally subject me to grace
And love that shames the wise, betrays the heart's deceit and lies
And breaks the back of foolish pride
So the patch up job didn't work. I had to dig deeper and get a solid base first. I needed to be broken and rebuilt. It has been at times a painful but ultimately very rewarding process. Peace in your soul is a beautiful thing.
What are the potholes in your life? Are you patching them up or getting to the cause? There is no quick fix for personality quirks. It takes time and perseverance but is very worthwhile. You are worth it!!