Stuck in a Rut? Ribet!

I’d like to begin today’s message with a parable about finding the strength to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. We all find ourselves in situations from time to time that we’d desperately like to change, but sometimes the motivation just isn’t quite there. Until life throws a knuckle ball that we have no choice but to hit.

A frog was hopping down a dirt road, happy as a lark and full of life. After a while, he came upon the sound of a toad crying for help. The toad was stuck at the bottom of a deep rut and couldn’t get out. He’d climbed and jumped all night but kept falling back down to the bottom. His situation seemed hopeless, and there was little the smaller frog could do but go try to find some help.

An hour later, unable to find any way to help his friend, the frog sat beside the road to think. A few minutes later he heard a familiar sound and, to his amazement, along came the toad. “That rut was too deep!” the frog exclaimed. “How on earth did you ever get out?” The toad simply replied, “There was a truck coming … I didn’t have a choice.”

Sometimes, it’s not enough to want something. We can dream about it, plan for it, set goals, and spring into action, only to fall right back to where we started. After a while, we begin to think maybe we just set our goals a little too high. Maybe this is beyond our capabilities. Besides, this rut isn’t so bad after all.

This is true in many areas of life, but especially when it comes to finances. No matter where we are on that mountain, most of us want to climb a little higher. But that takes work, and right now there are just too many other things we need to do. Sound familiar?

More often than not, time really is on our side. The bills are being paid, there’s food on the table, and maybe even a little left over for savings and vacations. What’s the rush? Then the ground begins to vibrate, and you hear an unwelcome sound headed your way, getting louder by the second. Time is no longer a luxury. You have to do something now, or just lay there and await the inevitable.

Thankfully, for most of us, it’s not really a truck headed our way. Sometimes it’s a serious health issue that won’t be covered by insurance. Or maybe you go into work one day to find a box sitting next to your desk as the boss says, “It’s not personal – just business.” Or you get a letter from the bank giving you ten days to pay up or move. But at this point, ten days just isn’t enough.

It all comes down to a pretty simple concept – dig the well before you get thirsty. Things happen that we never planned on, and emergencies have no regard for the size of our bank account. They’ll take it all, and then some. And nobody else cares, as long as they get paid. Your emergencies aren’t their problem. You figure it out.

If you suddenly found yourself in that rut with a truck bearing down, you’d find the strength to get out of the way. We all do. The key is to find that strength now, before you need it, and get out of that rut before the truck ever hits the road. Dig the well before you get thirsty.

Digging a well takes work. It’s not convenient, and a lot of people may even question why, especially when there’s a faucet on your kitchen sink. “You don’t need this! You’re comfortable! Let’s go grab a beer!” But when that day comes that you turn on the faucet and nothing happens, you’ll be glad you put in the effort. And you’ll meet friends you never knew you had, but that’s a different story.

Find that sense of urgency now, before life does it for you. Life will still throw some knuckle balls, and you may already be sitting on two strikes. The question is, will you be ready for it? Will you simply reach into your bank of resources and handle the problem, or let the problem handle you?

If there’s something you could do in the face of an emergency, what are you waiting for? Do it now. Then, when those emergencies arise, you can focus on the real issue instead of the fallout.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

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