Recently, after almost four months of waiting, I finally received a truckload of wood chips in my driveway for free. It felt like Christmas morning . . . until reality hit me. I had to move that gigantic pile! Quickly! With nothing but a shovel and a wheelbarrow!
The job suddenly seemed insurmountable.
The following morning my work began in earnest. For six straight hours I shoveled and hauled one load after another to various places in my yard. I thought I would never finish. By the end of that time my kids and I had only moved about half the wood chips. I didn’t complete the job until the end of the week.
If you stop and think about it, moving wood chips is a fitting metaphor for obtaining spiritual understanding. Do you remember when you first began learning God’s word? You might have felt the way I did staring at that gigantic heap of mulch: “How am I going to do this? It’s going to take me forever!”
The Bible is a mountain of information. Shoveling through it and transporting divine wisdom into our hearts and minds is no simple task. The book Muscle and a Shovel emphasizes the vital role of hard work and diligence in uncovering God’s truth. Just like moving a truckload of wood chips, obtaining knowledge requires muscle and a shovel.
The Bible is a mountain of information. Shoveling through it and transporting divine wisdom into our hearts and minds is no simple task.
Wisdom cries out, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me” (Prov. 8:17). Practically speaking, this means we must commit ourselves to serious Bible study. If you’ve already made that commitment and feel like you’re getting nowhere, that’s normal. I felt that way shoveling one measly scoop of wood chips at a time. It seemed I wasn’t making a dent in that huge pile! “If only I had a bulldozer,” I thought.
There is no shortcut to God’s wisdom, no spiritual bulldozer to dump it in our heads instantaneously. One small measure of knowledge at a time—that’s the best we can do. Patience is the key. If we remain consistent over time, we will eventually accumulate much wisdom, and we’ll be glad we made the effort. “How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold” (Prov. 3:13-14).