Underneath It All

Why won't my grass grow?

A true story:  John’s* grass always looked terrible, yet he was always out working on it. Raking it.  Spraying it.  Re-sodding it.  Watering it.  I felt badly for him that with all this work he was still struggling and  it never got any better.  The neighborhood board told him he had to get it under control.  Other neighbors were annoyed that it was such an eyesore.  Why was his grass such a disaster?!

Is it fertile ground?

Finally after a year or more of struggle with this dead grass the truth came out.  In 1989 when this neighborhood was built, his front yard was the dumping ground for all the construction waste.  The builder just covered it up with a layer of dirt and sodded it.   So here it was, 2003 and the grass was unable to grow and thrive because the earth underneath it was filled with garbage.

Problem solved!

Now that he knew the real problem, it could be fixed.  All he had to do was to dig up the ground underneath, add in good dirt and resod the ground.  It really was a simple solution once he knew the reason why his grass wouldn’t grow.  Problem solved!

I love this story.  A modern day parable really.  Here is a man who kept trying, and trying, to fix the problem on the surface level.  He did whatever he could, spent time, money and sweat, yet didn’t get any results.  Others criticised his efforts.  He got frustrated.  However, once John found out it wasn’t his lack of effort, but his lack of knowledge of the real problem that was to blame, that he could start digging in.  Yes, it took effort.  Yes, it took time.  Yes, the yard looked worse, for a little while.  But….once the garbage was removed, and the new soil put in, the grass flourished.

So now the question is:  What problem do you have that you keep trying to ‘fix’ on the surface level but doesn’t seem to be improving?  A relationship with your spouse or children?  A career?  Your weight?  Have you thought about what is underneath that problem?  A feeling of insecurity?  A fear of loss?  Unforgiveness?  A memory from the past that has not been resolved?  Negative thought patterns?  Just because you have tried, just because you have put time, effort and even money into solving a problem doesn’t mean anything.  If it still lingers, it does not mean that it cannot be resolved.  You may just have to dig deeper and get to the root of the problem.  Ask yourself, am I dealing with the surface level of this problem?  Is this a problem that I have been dealing with in different forms for months? Years?  If this is the case, it is likely that you have not gotten to the root of the problem.  Then ask yourself, how can I find out what the root of this problem is?  Can I figure it out myself?  Do I have a trusted friend I could talk to about it or should I seek professional help with a life coach or counselor?  Like John’s yard, once you dig deeper and find  out the real problem, and dig it up, the grass of your life will flourish!

*Name has been changed for privacy purposes.