While I miss our daily Colorado blue sky days, I remain grateful for the daily rain. The watershed is healthy, our local flora and fauna are thriving, and sport enthusiasts and the companies that serve them are ecstatic. The other day, as I watched buckets of rain pooling, I was reminded of an experience that happened long ago.
Several times over the years I have shared that my wife Regina and I had a pet goat named Flip. We were living on the New Mexico border at the time and one day we saw a sign that said, “Baby Goats – 5 Dollars.” As we were “kid” free at that point in life, we followed the signs, arrived at a broken down trailer in a field of growing chiles, and scooped up our new four legged friend. As he screamed all the way back to our house, we named him Flip because he was flipping out.
Over time, Flip and our dogs became best friends. Flip even joined us on our evening walks along the Rio Grande River which was at the end of our street. Our neighbors seemed to assume this was a “normal” thing for a psychologist to do.
Given where we lived, rather than watering our property, once a week we would irrigate the small acreage we had with water from the river. This meant literally opening up the “floodgates”, allowing water to flow until a foot of water covered the land. One evening, after irrigating, we had gone to bed when we were awoken by Flip screaming.
Immediately we both grabbed flash lights and headed outside. Soon we found Flip. He was standing on top of a large tree stump surrounded by the sea of irrigation water. While he would not have drowned, we waded out to him, picked him up, and brought him to the side of our house and comforted him.
We to this day do not know why or how Flip ended up where he did. He normally had a comfortable place to sleep, but there he was on the stump. A stump that clearly offered a safe spot from the irrigation water.
This story about Flip, I believe serves as an apt metaphor for all of us. Every one of us, have had experiences or currently are in a spot in which we have felt or feel threatened by “rising waters.” Those happenings, events, or occasions in which we are anxious, feel overwhelmed, or are simply not clear what we should do. Given this is the case, I ask each of us to ask ourselves, “what is my stump?” What is it or more importantly Who is it that you and I will stand upon when events feel perilous, threatening, or excruciatingly uncertain.
Certainly Paul was very clear Who his stump was when we wrote, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. I believe we are wise when we too turn to and stand upon such a stump.