By: Staci Stallings
My oldest daughter has found the joy of profound sayings. One of her very favorites is: Rule #1 If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
She was sharing her favorite saying with my brother-in-law the other night, and he laughed. He said he had a favorite saying as well. It was one he had heard at a conference. It went like this:
No matter how long you’ve gone down the wrong road, TURN AROUND!
I laughed about that one. How true!
Isn’t it strange how committed we get to the “way we’ve always done it.” My brother-in-law is particularly vulnerable to getting whacked with this one because he works in the finance area. That means computer programs for payroll and other accounting type things. He got this position only two years ago, so he went through a lot of this when he first got there.
“We could do it this way. It would be much easier and take far less time.” “Well, but this is the way we’ve always done it.”
Face it. People don’t like to change. They often don’t like learning new things. So they resist–even if it would make their jobs far easier.
He said, “It’s amazing how hard it is to get people to understand that to continue to go down a road that isn’t working will only make things worse. It’s not like at some point what hasn’t been working will suddenly work.”
For me, in my situation with my son, I know this to be the case. Last year they kept saying, “Just keep working with him. He’ll get it.” Uh. No. He wasn’t. If he was going to get it by teaching it that way, he would have.
I needed a new road… desperately! But no one seemed able to show me what the new road needed to look like.
However, when I finally found the new road–by persistence in looking for it (some would say stubbornness), I knew pretty quickly it was the road I was looking for.
I think this also applies to our spiritual lives. Have you ever gone down a religious road that just felt bad? I mean you were miserable, but someone had told you that doing your duty was what God wanted, and so you plodded along. There was no energy or life to your walk, but you were supposed to, so you did.
I’m reading a different book right now called “Fish.” It’s very simple and yet very profound. One of the main themes is being in a “toxic energy dump” environment. That means when others around you (and probably you too) are just… toxic. No energy. No life. No fun. You dread going there. You are miserable while you’re there. Maybe you don’t visit any of these places–or maybe you live in one.
If so, you’re on the wrong road! Turn around!
Find ways to engage with others in the environment. Smile. Be happy. Find reasons to be happy about where you are. Make a commitment to be the most positive one in the room. Bring God with you because He’s often the only one that can make a real difference in these situations.
What you don’t want to do: Waste more of your time and your life immersed in a toxic energy dump.
Decide to change it, and then do!