Sunday, July 1, 2007

Potholes

We were driving home on the back roads between The Land Flowing With Milk and Honey (where the Wal-Mart is) and Smallville. The Suburban dipped and swayed through the tight curves and potholes. Lots of potholes. Asphalt sprayed the car’s undercarriage. “Tink. Tink. Tink.”

The children were oblivious to the dipping and swaying but the noise caught their attention. They looked out the windows. “Hey Mama, didn’t they just fill those potholes two weeks ago? Why did they have to fill them again?”

Good question, kids. Instead of hiring the Fix It and Forget It Construction Company, our county employs Larry, Darryl and Darryl to maintain our roads. Larry drives the pickup. Darryl shovels a bit of asphalt off the back and the other Darryl tamps it down into the hole. Week after week they fill the same holes. Week after week our wheels grind away their efforts.

Potholes. We all have them. Places in our lives that just can’t seem to stay filled up. Holes that consume great quantities of love or money or power or recognition. Deep…cavernous…greedy… potholes.

Small Scribbles has seen more traffic in the last few days than my five or so regular readers. I’ve been able to hang a few more comments underneath some of my posts. The notes are sweet and uplifting because that is the nature of my readers. If I believed all of the head-swelling words in these notes I would be headed for Random House Publishing with a portfolio under my arm. But I know that I am a mediocre writer at best. (See Bub and Pie if you don’t believe me.) Some of my sentences are stale. Some ideas go round and round without packing a good punch. I haven’t a clue about commas. I am sure some readers have noticed this but have refrained from zinging off the comment, “Where did you get your degree in commas? At the Acme School of Punctuation?”

Comments are wholly unsatisfying. I smile when I read one. I am thrilled over the encouragement and then promptly check my e-mail for the next one. Like those holes that need constant repair my need for praise appears to be insatiable.

I realize that on the scale of famous people I am not even a blip on the radar screen but God used my hunger for praise to show me how the truly famous stars and leaders can go awry. If they hear only how awesome they are, if no one offers them constructive criticism, if they are not grounded in God’s Truth, if they believe their own press then they are on a collision course with self destruction. Sympathy followed on the heels of this revelation.

I was chewing on these thoughts when I came across a quote from Katie Haseltine. As the wife of Dan Haseltine, she lives in the shadow of fame. She says this:

I think all of us would stand here and say the God we know today is SO different from who we would have said we knew two or three years ago. We knew God, but we didn't know Him as our sole provider. And we didn't know Him as the only thing in this world that would be fulfilling and satisfying.

Wise words. Funny how fifteen minutes spent reading the affections of man still leaves me thirsty but fifteen minutes in the Psalms can satisfy that thirst and fill me with good things. Proof positive that if I love the Lord and fear Him he will fulfill my desires. All I have to do is remember that He is my desire.

Note: This post was not written to discourage your kind words. Please keep them coming. I enjoy this connection with real life friends and those met on the blogging journey.

10 comments:

kittyhox said...

I also have comma issues, although I've never noticed anything awry with any of your posts. I tend to overuse them, I fear.

I'll not stop commenting because I love your writing! :)

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Kate, this is a good, thoughtful post. I understand the zest of finding a comment! "Wow, somebody besides my sister is reading this!" LOL. And you're so right that our desire must be for his honor and glory. I like how Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire said that he felt God's pleasure when he ran. I think we can enjoy the clean joy of running for the Lord. I see you running this race with passion and I appreciate that.

Meg said...

Hey Kate...your writing is anything but mediocre...really. I look forward to coming to read here and I appreciate the effort you put into your writing. I thank God for sisters in blogland who are thoughtful and who want to glorify Him. I believe that is what you do here. All the good stuff that comes out of us is on account of Him anyway, so when we praise you, we are praising Him! Have a great day. Meg

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

I echo what Meg said. We are praising HIM and what He is doing in and through you. I do completely get what you're saying and feeling! It's like when God gives me a song lyric. The words are His words, I'm the pencil. So scribble away, He is using you here in blogland!!

Love you,
steph.

Mississippi Girl said...

Sorry I've been a little while in getting back to you. Thank you for the sweet "mention" and award .... SO nice of you!! Your blog is just precious!
Jennifer R.

Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Kate I love your honesty! It is like you are right in my head. Wow, that could be scary huh? Scratch that! lol! Anyway, I am so blessed by you and your posts. They take me closer to the Father! Also, about writing....I am right there with you. I completely understand. That is what editors are for!
Love you!
Ang

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I've recently found your blog & feel challenged when I come visit. You allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you, and that is worth more than any accolade man can give.

It IS hard to not get caught up in wanting other bloggers' approval. I've had to re-evaluate my motives on more than one occasion.

thanks for your honesty.

Etta said...

Kate,

Thanks for this post. I just got done sending off an email on a discussion on a similar issue with a close friend. I am planning on posting my email, with some edits, of course, soon on my blog. I am also going to direct her to this post. Thanks so much for sharing this. And for your encouraging words to me on my blog. You have helped me keep things in perspective!

Rachel Anne said...

I often have to ask myself "why am I blogging?" When I compare my sad little commentaries to the deep insightful prose others put out there, I feel discouraged. What a hack I am. I just keep trying to remember to write about what I enjoy writing about and forget about the rest.

I love your blog and I hope you'll keep on!

Faith said...

Mmm, good food for thought. I can relate, Siesta!