Where a hole is located is a very important concept. Just think about it, if you were stranded in a desert wasteland what would you rather have? A sieve or a jug? Of course neither will matter if you are unable to tap into a water source within a certain timeframe. (Death comes for us all, right?!?) But let’s just think about this a little further. Some holes are valuable and some are preferable, and some are mandatory, as others are more problematic. We’ve got to get control over this hole-situation! (Ba-dump-dump-ching, I know, I know, bad pun. My brother would be so proud.)
As I awoke this morning, thinking about this “hole” thing, I came up with a few examples to drive my point home. Enter Example 1: Shoes have holes. Without those holes we couldn’t wear them (ankle hole), they wouldn’t look cute (peep toe, mesh, or sandals), or they would be too loose and would fall off (holes for the laces/velcro straps in some cases). Of course a hole in the wrong place, well, that would be problematic! The holes in shoes are three-fold. Useful, preferable, AND mandatory—but the wrong kind of hole, can be problematic.
Example 2: Houses!! Our homes have: windows, doors, and various other non-air-tight cracks which all serve a different purpose and are located accordingly. Without windows we would save tons on the heating/air bill, but we might also suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if we don’t get enough sunlight in our day! Or, there are tons of bacteria that refuse to grow in sunlight, so if we lose the windows, we have to clean MORE, and use a good disinfectant. (And buy MORE of it too.) Windows give us a safe view into the world around our home, they protect us from pests of all sizes, and they allow us to corral our offspring. Windows provide refreshing spring breezes—shall I go on? Cinderella would have been a VERY different movie without windows…Tangled too, my god, just imagine!?! Disney is practically built on an empire of windows!!
I digress, we need holes in our lives. It seems like such a strange thing to say. However, the more thought I put into it the more I convince myself of this simple truth. The struggle comes in when we begin to think about how important their location is. My best-friend-for-all-time has a sweet and wild little boy, who is 6 now. We are thankful for him everyday no matter how crazy of a job parenting can be—because he has a hole. Specifically, in his heart. And as we all know, THAT is a bad place for a hole to be.
I remember when she was “preggers“—we prayed over that belly like a million times. Step by worrisome step, there were all of these simple little processes that had to occur, and if there was not the correct flow of blood from one side of his heart into the other—well, everything would have been affected. The growth of everything depends on blood-flow. Brain development, lung development, etc. Somehow—miraculously (Psalm 139:13), this little dude kept growing, and healthfully. It seriously stumped the doctors. Till he was born. After he joined us out here, the docs realized that his hole-y heart was pretty unique. You see, (to spare you the fancy terminology, which I didn’t memorize anyhow) there is a chamber in our hearts that actually has a hole, ventricle, valve, or whatever—which allows blood to travel from one side to another. Well, THAT hole wasn’t there!!!! But, the newer, “unwanted” hole was there…slowly leaking just enough blood to the other parts of the heart to keep Noah’s entire system functioning. Wow. Holes man!?! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em! Noah’s hole-y heart saved him, though his oxygen levels, after joining us out here, required him to have several heart surgeries—he is now a sweet and wild, strapping young lad.
I’d like to talk for a moment about some of the holes we have that are often overlooked, ignored, and possibly made excuses for in our lives. AND the value in being able to judge all our different types of holes accurately so that we will accurately know what needs to be done with each one of them. For the betterment of all man/woman kind!
We all have ‘em. There is no use in pretending that you are perfect—no one is. (All have fallen short of the Glory which God has set before us as a standard. My paraphrased version, Romans 3:23) So now that you have been sufficiently humbled 😉 let’s get real here! I mean, I’ve got holes that I am sure have been overlooked, I know ignored, and I’m sure I’ve made excuses for myself countless times along the way, trying to soften the unavoidable blows to my pride as I have matured.
To bare all for the sake of transparency I would like to highlight three (because it’s a nice round number;) “holes” in my life, that I personally struggle with.
Hole #1: I hate to admit it, but I am an attention monger—I love to be in the lime light, and as a result, I talk a lot, I interrupt a lot, and sometimes I only get excited about what it going through MY head. I am a great listener—but only when it’s obvious that someone really needs a listener. If you seem happy and healthy—I am about to talk your ear off! I’m great with kids, but sometimes when other adults are sharing, I have critical thoughts, and I just want to respond to what they are saying and move on! I recognize this as a hole in my personality, or at the very least, in my manners. The Bible says we should aim to be “quick to listen, and slow to speak, slow to anger, and abounding in love.” In my defense, I am slow to anger, and I do love people whole-heartedly. But sometimes that’s hard to see because I really like to share and be the one making other people laugh and feel entertained. I MUST be aware of myself in this hole-y area, I must apologize for interrupting, and I must work to maintain a healthy balance.
Hole #2: I like stuff. My whole family, likes stuff. We would be considered hoarders except that most of us keep a really tidy home. It’s almost to the point where we won’t share with each other when something has some sort of “special” meaning to one of us. And every time a “special” item comes into question—oh, are we ready to fight over it! It’s agonizing really, and I recognized it over 10 years ago.
(So, none of our houses look like the above home, because we all hide our stuff…and hang it on walls, but it’s there. And I can argue that it shouldn’t be!)
It’s more like the stuff owns us, instead of the other way around. It seems to me that ugly attitudes over some stuff/thing (That we can’t take with us anyway), basically communicates to each other the following: “This _______________ means more to me than your feelings, or your “special” reason for wanting or needing it, and I care more about myself than hearing you out. So, I am going to yell at you, and get angry when you respond back—and then I will huff and puff, and either storm out of the room, OR hang up in your face, RATHER than calmly discussing the issue to a point of closure. AND THEN, I will hold it against you for AT LEAST a year—possibly more.” My solution to this “hole” in my life, is to have a garage sale or two every year, and to NEVER, ever, EVER, ask for anything physical from my family unless they have absolutely no emotional connection to it, whatsoever. It’s a tricky hole to bear, but my family is attached to it, so I can’t completely close it—ever. Because I love them. But I don’t love stuff. I am seriously on the verge of selling almost everything I own before we move to Tennessee. OR giving it away. That would be a lesson in humility, wouldn’t it?!
Hole #3: This is the doozie for me—but I see it as penance in some fashion. I heard Derek Webb say once that the very best thing we could ever hope for to deal with our sin was to have it broadcasted on the 6:00 news…
Ephesians 5:13 “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
That’s frightening. I often feel that because my heavenly father loves me, that he chooses to deal with me in non-embarrassing ways. Privately.Well, he has already dealt with me on this issue, so I feel free to share it. Here goes, better be cathartic— I used to be a bit of a klepto. I think it stemmed from multiple things—other holes in my life, mainly. So, feeling like stuff/things were more important than they really were—I wanted more and more stuff/things for myself. I am the youngest of three—two girls, one boy. The boy is the eldest. Needless to say, all my things were actually hand-me-downs. I don’t mind this now—because I think it’s pretty cool how all my clothes were already soft, and if I stained it no one was really ever mad at me, AND it was like living a legacy. Good memories to share. We ALL wore those jeans. That dino sweatshirt, those matching jumpers. Cool. But I wanted my OWN stuff. Silly me, I didn’t learn that everything in our lives ultimately belongs to God till I was a grown-up.
Psalm 24:1 “The LORD owns the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live in it.“
I had sticky-fingers. Especially if it was unwanted, or forgotten, or even just seemed that way. I am ashamed of this. It lasted into my high school years. Now I see this hole for what it really is. A lie. A story the devil whispered to my heart making me believe I needed the coolest things to be cool, and that no one was going to help me but myself. I was always a hard worker, always saved my money, always had money—but still stole little things here and there. From my sister, or from a friend, from the lost-and-found shelves at church or school. Now, I have realized in addition to the lie about needing material possessions to actually be a person of value myself—I have also uncovered another lie that I naively fell for—the lie that God wouldn’t provide for me, and that I needed to handle it myself. Stealing was a slap in the face to a God I so dearly loved. And when I realized that the sins of the father are passed onto the son up to 4 generations—That was the last straw. I ended it, and gave it all to God, every hole, every failure, every lie. And I haven’t looked back.
We must take account of the holes we have in our lives—either caused by nature, or by nurture, by habit, or by role models, or by weakness of spirit or faulty thinking. We owe it to our children to deal with our own holes and to fill them with Jesus. Not with stuff, excuses, talking, shopping, drinking, substance abuse, friends, lovers, romance, music, dance, expectations of others, fantasy novels, video games, food, or ANYTHING except for grace, forgiveness, and a desire to move forward, not back.
I hope these thoughts have helped you. It was random that I woke up with this concept on my mind.
Thanks for spending these few moments with me.