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I spent most of the day transplanting two trees, three bushes and removing a fourth. The last bush, which was actually three or four different types growing together, was a beast! I didn’t realize until I had gotten rid of all the limbs that it was also growing out of a stump which was mostly underground.

I cut, sawed, clipped scraped and dug… deep. I cleared away dirt, rocks, other debris until I thought it was ready to be pulled up but no luck. So I kept digging and then I discovered there was a root growing straight down about three inches thick under the stump. No wonder it wouldn’t budge. After more work and time than intended I was able, with the help of my wife, to finally pull it up. Sweat rolled off my ball cap and onto the ground, my back, shoulders, arms and legs ached and I was ecstatic!

As I labored with that monster I reflected on my journey the past eighteen months. I thought about friends, advisors, counselors who know my story and have walked beside me. I also thought of others who are walking their own difficult paths.

The labor of living can be intense. We may have hurts which need to be healed, health that needs to be restored, trust to be rebuilt, purposes and passions rediscovered. We long to remove the roots of our pain but don’t truly know how deeply they go down into our soul.

Only by getting dirty, in the muck and mire of ego, both ours and others, can we get at the root of our suffering. When we’re willing to dig… deep, willing to get on our hands and knees and wrestle with it will it be removed. It isn’t easy and chances are it’ll take much more time and effort than we estimate but when the disappointment, hurt, bitterness and grudges are finally removed it’ll be worth it.



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