First, let me begin by giving kudos to the City of Decatur street maintenance department. They have been attentive and timely in their response to our inquiries about getting a pothole fixed on the street directly in front of our driveway. We called a few days after we moved into our new house, and less than 24 hours later, a crew came out to patch the trouble spot.
However, on closer inspection a day or so later, we all knew the problem was going to require a deeper and more thorough fix. Today that is happening outside my window as I type. A man operating an excavator is digging out a large area -- I'd say at least 6' x 6' and several feet deep -- and piling the debris into the back of a truck while three other guys are working with shovels to keep the process going smoothly and efficiently. In order to truly fix the pothole, they are having to dig deep and get to the root of the problem.
A website called Wonderopolis describes the situation like this:
"Potholes are areas of road surface that have cracked, worn away, and eventually formed a hole. They start out as tiny cracks. If they’re not fixed right away, they can grow. Potholes may be anywhere from a few inches wide and deep to a few feet wide and several inches deep.
When vehicles travel on highways and city streets, they rely on a flat, smooth surface. This helps them move quickly, comfortably, and safely. Potholes make a ride bumpy and potentially dangerous. They can damage vehicle tires and even affect the alignment of a vehicle’s wheels."
The site goes on to describe the solution/fix:
"Fortunately, road maintenance crews can fix potholes easily. Fixing a pothole requires a crew to clean all the loose rock and dirt out of the pothole before filling it with a mixture of hot or cold asphalt (depending upon the time of year) to create a patch in the roadway surface. Sometimes special chemicals are also used that act like a glue to make the asphalt patch stick to the surrounding pavement. You can think of this method as similar to the way a dentist fills a cavity in your teeth!"
The crewman in charge told Steve that we'd be able to drive over the patch in a few hours. It will be nice for us as we go in and out of our driveway and for all the rest who live in or visit our cul-de-sac.
Steve had a pothole of sorts that developed on the top of his head recently. He thought at first it was an insect bite or just a scratch. When he showed it to his doctor, he prescribed an ointment but immediately sent him to his dermatologist. Further tests revealed that it was a squamous cell carcinoma. He now has numerous stitches where all of the cancerous tissue was removed. If that "place on this head" had been left untreated, it could have eventually spread to his lymph nodes or other organs making a far worse situation.
My guess is that all of us have potholes in our lives -- pains, worries, challenges, obstacles, troubles, difficulties. We try to avoid them or drive around them, but sometimes we hit them head-on with jarring results. We can choose to be angry and blame others, or we can pick up our emotional shovels and fill in those potholes with large scoops of kindness, joy, love, and gratitude. If sin is the root cause, we can acknowledge that sin, make a soul-deep repentance, and ask for forgiveness.
Whatever it takes to fix the pothole or keep it from getting bigger, we need to have the wisdom and courage to face it.
God has brought several potholes to my own mind this morning. What about you?
Let's ask God for help and have faith that He WILL be with us and keep His promises.
Matthew 7:7 -- "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Psalm 121:2 -- "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth."
James 1:5 -- "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
1 John 1:9 -- "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."