So, this is a picture of the gravel road in front of our house from not long ago.
I know that those of you not from Iowa might find it hard to believe that people still live on gravel roads to begin with, but there are many! PS. we only live 12 minutes from the edge of Des Moines.
The problem isn't that we still have gravel roads, they actually work quite nicely for the rural areas that have harsh winters and hot summers where large farm machinery needs to travel. The problem has been that the county hasn't been able to add sufficient rock to these roads for quite a while now and with the rain we have had this year they have turned into a muddy mess.
Muddy roads can seem to happen quickly during a wet season, but in reality the mess is not due to the rain, but instead it is primarily caused by a lack of preventative maintenance over a long period of time.
It is easy to blame the rain, (or the one who causes the rain) but for gravel roads to be effective it takes preventative maintenance adding rock at the right times to create a firm base no matter the weather. In fact, do you know what would have happened if rock would have been added when it was muddy like in the picture? You guessed it, the rock would have just sunk in and been lost. So, rock needs to be added when it is not raining in order that when it does rain the rock foundation holds firm.
The rock is not laid for the current rain, it is put down for the rain to come.
Our lives when not maintained can easily turn into "muddy roads" as well. Just like the muddy roads of this season it is easy to blame the rain. The reality is that rain does come in our lives. Some seasons will be more rainy than others and some of us will have more rain than others, but all of us will see rain. Are we building that firm rock foundation in our lives now, so that when it does rain the mess is minimized?
Here is a picture of the same road, just around the corner, after the road dried out, and the county department added rock and graded the road. Now that is a better looking gravel road. The maintenance is not complete, it's ongoing, but it sure is in a lot better shape.
I maintain my foundation within a relationship with God through commitment to daily quiet times of prayer and Bible reading. I have also committed to personal growth by talking with and learning from others, reading books, and other means of life long learning. This keeps me balanced and connected. Sure, when it rains it can still get messy, but the foundation remains.
I am also learning that it is during the rainy seasons that I learn the most. I am not saying I always like the rain, but it does force me to learn.
What do you do to maintain and build a firm foundation in your life?
I would love to hear about what you do and what you are learning in the comment section.