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.