This stump and I have gone rounds! Over the past week or so Mark (the guy in the yellow shirt) and I have each spent numerous hours, chainsawing, digging, hacking, sawzalling, shoveling, beating, ramming (with the skid steer!) and sweating (does anyone have any spare dynamite on hand?) trying to get this darn thing out of the ground…but thus far it is prevailing! So why does it need to come out?
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 – NIV
Over the past month or so I’ve been working on the ranch with several other men to build a retaining wall in order to stabilize a deteriorating bank just below the Lodge. It is imperative that the retaining wall be built on a rock solid foundation or it will buckle when the hillside settles against it. This stump just so happened to land right in the middle of the path of where the wall needs to go and WOW do its roots run deep! We’ve cut six of the main roots thus far, but the taproot is completely entangled in a rock that is firming attached to the mountain – it’s not moving!
It’s an interesting picture of what can happen when we give our lives to Jesus, but refuse to let him work in specific areas. Jesus says that if we want to experience true life, true freedom…he must be the cornerstone, the foundation of our lives – our stumps and all their roots must go! If we ask Jesus to change us, but to please build over our stumps and deep roots in certain areas our entire foundation will eventually crumble. Some of our old roots are easy to recognize (sinful habits, addictions, etc.), but others might be more subtle (being passive, allowing a root of bitterness to grow between you and your spouse, not addressing a situation with a friend or family member but talking about it behind their backs instead, not forgiving someone who wronged you, etc.). When we come to Jesus looking for a new foundation – we need to be willing to allow him to dig out the old one!