Our stumps are being busted today.

A new tree stumpI wonder what that sentence means to you. Some of you may be thinking it’s medical, dental, mis-typing, ‘yoof-speek’, or just ‘confused’. Others will have jumped to the right conclusion (probably guided by the photo): people are coming with a machine to chomp up the tree stumps in our garden.

 am sure it’s an effective process. These people come recommended by a friend who had them remove a stump from their garden. I haven’t seen them in action yet, but their website suggests that the machine will turn the stumps into chippings and grind down to below the soil level so that all evidence of the stump is removed (apart from the chippings). While all the roots remain, there is no regrowth and they gradually rot away.

I am sure there’s a parable here. Some of the bad habits we adopt, mistakes we make and stuff we do that lets God and others down need to be eradicated from our lives. We need to be radical, get rid of it, kill it. We may well need God’s Spirit to help us by helping to change our priorities, attitudes, desires and habits. It’s possible that we may need others to help us, to support us and to encourage us. It may not be easy, it may be painful, but it needs doing.

God’s grace and forgiveness are greater than anything we can do that could offend and upset him. It is always available to us. And it is the best place to start. Sometimes it’s enough. Sometimes there is more work to do.

But while the stump of sin can be busted, there will almost certainly be something left behind that will take time to rot away. It could be hurt that we have caused others. It could be physical damage we have caused ourselves. It could be economic impact. It may be residual memories. Perhaps, like those struggling with addictive habits and behaviour, we will remain recovering addicts taking one day at a time.

But those stumps need busting. God’s Spirit will be with us all the way. We may experience him powerfully or gently, through other people or directly, in the pages of the Bible or the words of others.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

Garden-related joke from Clean Jokes

My daughter-in-law Alma and grandson Eddy were digging for fishing bait in my garden. Uncovering a many-legged creature, Eddy proudly dangled it before his mother.

“No, honey, he won’t do for bait,” his mother said. “He’s not an earthworm.”

“He’s not?” Eddy asked, his eyes wide. “What planet is he from?”

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