Summary: This series examines some of the Emotional holes we fall into and how to crawl out.

March 17, 2001

“Making the Hole, Whole”

Jimmy and Dave found a sink hole that seemed to appear out of nowhere one day. The hole was on a path they usually traveled to go to Mr. Earl’s pond where they would fish for sun perch and brim. In the summertime they traveled that path often and the day they found the hole, they knew it was a new one because it was right in the middle of the path.

Being typical boys, their first instinct was to look in the hole and see just how deep it really was. It was too deep and dark for them to see anything, but if they yelled real loud they would get an echo that was better than those you would hear out west at the Grand Canyon.

However, the fun level soon dropped dramatically after a long period of hollering in a hole and the two boys now turned their attention to checking the depth of the hole by dropping things into the limestone darkness.

It was a very scientific process. They would drop a rock into the hole and count the seconds until they heard the rock hit the bottom. There was only one problem. The hole was so deep they could not hear the rock hit the bottom.

Their fun now turned into work as they dropped huge boulders, tree stumps, and whatever they could find into the sink hole, still with no success of hearing a sound from their efforts.

They were now desperate to find a bottom to the hole. As they looked for larger items to push into the sink hole, Jimmy found a railroad tie in the undergrowth near the path. The two summer tanned boys with all their might dragged and pushed the railroad tie to the hole and slowly let it fall into the darkness. As they waited for the sure sound of a crash to the bottom, they were amazed at the sudden appearance of a white goat running from the undergrowth where they found the railroad

tie. The goat ran right past the startled boys and went immediately into the darkness of the sink hole.

In total shock Jimmy and Dave moved slowly to the edge of the hole and looked in. All they saw was settling dust, darkness and heard absolutely nothing.

From behind them, Mr. Earl was coming up the well traveled path and as he approached the now pale boys, he asked them if they had seen a goat along the way.

“Funny you should ask,” said Dave with his eyes as large as china saucers. “We have just seen a goat and it did the strangest thing, too!”

”Yeah,” answered Jimmy and pointing to the hole in the path, “A goat just ran out of those woods over there and jumped in this hole for no apparent reason, less than a minute ago.”

Seeming somewhat confused Mr. Earl smiled at the boys and said, “Well, that must not have been my goat. You see, my goat was tied with a long rope to a railroad tie.” That’s funny, huh? While this supposedly true story gleaned from the September 2000 issue of the Tennessee Farm Bureau is hilarious it also points out how dangerous sink holes can be. In 1993 a 100 foot wide sink hole opened up under a hotel parking lot in Atlanta Georgia that killed two people and destroyed four dozen cars. As recently as last July 14, after 4 days of severe rains in Hernando County Florida, eighteen sinkholes, the largest of which measured eighty feet across and over one hundred feet deep opened up in a two day period. No one was injured but one emergency worker narrowly escaped injury when the earth sank beneath him as he was clearing debris with a backhoe. The holes in our lives we have labeled depression, anger, weariness, fairness, loss and brokenness, may not open as suddenly as sink holes but they are as dangerous and sometimes as deep. And, whether you are a person caught in the throes of depression or a goat tied to a railroad tie, they can be easy to fall into, mighty difficult to climb out of and especially hard to fill to prevent further falling.

We have defined each of these holes and explored ways to crawl out of each of these holes. Now I want us to take a look at how we might fill those holes, “Make the Hole, Whole, if you will, that we might begin to travel this life a little less hindered. The process is really about building whole people. That is a process that many or might I say most churches I know, have forgotten all about. We get caught up in the tradition of how we do something instead of centering upon what the church is to produce. The end product is not a great choir. The end product is not a beautiful building. The end product is not a seamless worship service. The end product was and always shall be a whole person in fellowship with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Simply what we produce is more important that how we go about producing it.

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