Get Rid of That Stump – But How?

There’s a barricade in your way. It huge and it’s been there a while. The problem is it is in the middle of the field in which you are working. This responsibility you have is important. This barricade, this obstacle you have, is a dilemma in your life. This part of your life journey may be at work, school, or home. The “stump” may be a tradition, a person, or a preconceived way of doing something.

Maybe it would be easier to think of this as a farmer. You’ve got a field to prepare, plant, and harvest. But in the middle of the field is a huge stump. And it is in the way. What does the farmer do?

What do you do?

You have a few options. Let’s look.

First, you can be so overwhelmed that you just give up. Find another field. Run from the problem and don’t look back. True, this may be easy and cause no personal conflict, but is it healthy?

Second, let’s start hammering away at it. Get a sledgehammer or axe and start swinging. You know what this does? It wears you out and takes forever. It also might cause some pretty serious relationship issues.

Third, maybe we need to go a bit of a Tim, the Tool Time Man and get more power. Okay, that reference dates me, but I am basically saying let’s amp up the volume. Get some explosives and blow that baby out of the ground. This may solve the stump problem, but it leaves a lot of collateral damage. And relationally, it could cause broken lives, or at the least, cause broken relationships.

And fourth, you could ignore it, just plow around it. Forget the straight, picture perfect rows. Take a huge semicircle and go around the stump. Giving enough time – years maybe – the stump will rot and decay away. The problem with this method is the stump may outlast you. The stump just hangs there and might even be a problem for the next farmer, maybe your own kid. There are up sides to 5bid … There is little relational harm, it keeps you focusing on what you can be doing and not what is trying to get in the way, and the work is getting done. Not avoidance but a willful choice to prioritize the work over the small agitations.

So … Run? Hammer away? Blow it up? Get back to work?

Me … let’s go with #4.

Have a blessed day.


Late addition, you can pay someone to grind it down. Kind of cheating.





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