Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dig Down

The year was about 1985 or 1986.  Some of my relatives had come over to visit us at our house where we lived previously.  We decided to take them on a trip to a "must see" excursion to a large village about twenty miles away, to spend the afternoon.  There, they had paddleboats, a petting farm with baby farm animals (including puppies and kittens to give away), a mini-roller-coaster, and novelties like life-size checkerboards and live mini-theatre.  

There were a lot of people there that day.  We had a lot of fun - one couple even came away with a puppy!  It was a hot summer day and we were thirsty.  Some among us whet our whistles at the snack shack.  Others drank freely from the water fountains - after all, water was the only thing that was free, and it was SO cold!  

The day ended and people said their goodbyes, and each went his or her separate ways.  

The next morning, very early, we both awoke violently ill.  Over the next six to eight hours, we spent the vast majority of our time hunched over a toilet bowl.  Neither my husband nor I had ever been that sick.  After we got a little bit of respite from the waves of nausea - and started taking an interest in the world, we first checked with our relatives - and some of them had been just as sick as we.  

We watched the news to distract ourselves and it was then that the mystery was solved.  The afternoon prior to us being at the park, there had been a troop of boy scouts there, most of whom had come down with the same symptoms.  Some of them ended up under medical care.  It was then that the truth came out.  They had salmonella.  And, as we figured out from that, so did we. Every person who was sick had one thing in common: the water fountains at the park!  

A very rapid investigation resulted and the owners of the park discovered, after opening up the cover and passing a camera or something to the bottom of the well, that a rat had gotten in there and drowned.  A rare occurrence to be sure, but there you have it.  As it um, decomposed, the bacteria passed into the water, and thus, to all those fountains.  They closed the park for a whole day, removed the rat (of course) and disinfected the whole system.  From that day until the day it closed, there was never again another problem.  

Image source (via Google):
Now - I tell the story to ask a question.  What if those people had found that rat, and said, "Oh no.  Just knowing it's there is enough.  We don't need to dig that up.  It'll settle.  It'll be fine"???  You got it.  Nobody would have been able to drink that water as long as that animal stayed where it was.  They HAD to dig down. They HAD to remove it. 

This is one problem with a lot of Christians.  Yep, know that's there, prayed that blanket prayer (however that sounds, whether the same prayer every time or a different one) and whatever you do, don't dig that thing up because then you'd have to deal with all those messy things again, feel all those nasty feelings, and then there's the cleanup.  

Yes.  Yes there is.  And it won't go away until you do.  It will always have power over you.  Always.  It will sit there and rot until you dig down and bring that thing up and dispose of it properly.  And then go back down and clear up the damage it did.  Yes, it's messy, and yes, it will take time.  And no, you can do NOTHING on your own to get rid of it.  (That's God's thing - He has the BEST disinfectant!)  But if you are willing to face that awful thing (whatever it is), honestly face your feelings about it and any part you played in it, and make restitution wherever possible, IT WILL LEAVE.  


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