Any contractor will tell you a sinkhole makes a poor foundation. It’s as true for life as it is for buildings.
Sometimes you read something that just smacks you in the head with its simple wisdom. Such was a sentence from a devotion by Lane Morris Buckman in Forward Day by Day on July 16, 2016. The author was talking about Jesus’s disciple Peter and how easy it would have been—after denying his Lord three times—to sink into a shame spiral and never recover. Instead he went on to become the rock on which the Christian church was founded. But here’s the sentence I highlighted:
“You can’t build your church on a sinkhole.”
Of course not.
You can’t build anything on a sinkhole if you want it to be strong and sturdy and lasting.
The Shenandoah Valley, with its karst geology (think limestone and caves), is filled with sinkholes. Hardly a year goes by we don’t hear about a section of highway closed to repair the damage caused by a collapsed sinkhole. The sinkhole metaphor gives us a lens through which to start viewing the things that need shoring up in our life. We must start asking ourselves this critical question:
Where are the sinkholes?
Here are a few in my life:
- Bad habits
- False assumptions
- Misguided priorities
- Unclarified values
- Ego-driven activities
Once you find them, acknowledge them and put your energy elsewhere—find a better place to build. Which of life’s four essential connections do your sinkholes fall under? Start there to strengthen that connection and find a way forward.
Otherwise, the things we really want to build will keep sinking.
Where are sinkholes in your life?