What you do with the dirt matters
A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule “braying”, or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth the trouble of saving. Instead he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened…and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical! He didn’t want to die much less be buried alive. But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back…..HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP ON IT! This he did blow after blow. “Shake it off and step on it…shake it off and step on it…shake it off and step on it!” he repeated to encourage himself.
No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING ON IT. It was not long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL. What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him…..all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
Jesus, “I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” Luke 16:9 (MSG)
PRAYER: Jesus, help me not to be so quick to despair when things don’t go just right, but to listen to my heart and what you put in my heart to do. May the thing that seems bound to destroy become the vehicle to get me where you want me. AMEN.