Journaling in Distant Lands; Chicken Nests

POTHOLEThere is a great relief in knowing the answer to the why question. All of the other answers can wait as long as why is known. We know why we have spent months preparing for this journey to Senegal. Surely that is enough for now?

It will though prove before travel’s end that the why is much more personal than the knowing of that why what brought about our initial knowing. God is at work on multiple fronts, the least of which is not that what He is doing within our hearts.

The road out of Dakar digressively becomes worse until finally Matt is using trails off of the road rather than the pavement. Pits and craters become the dominant feature of this national highway. They are known by the Senegalese as chicken nests; we simply call them potholes.

There are many more chicken nests than there is drivable roadway. Up ahead, two youth busy themselves with the task of road repair. Small make-shift shovels in hand; they have found enough dirt to fill one of the millions of potholes plaguing the roadway. They are proud of their effort and signal their pride in accomplishment by waving to passing vehicles with an obvious desire for response. We enquire and Matt shares that they are calling out for us to pay them for their labor.

It seems to me ridiculous; nearly slapstick. Can they not see and understand that their filling of one pothole on this road is meaningless, and laughable is the thought of compensation?

Because the ride toward Diouloulou has merely begun, and we’ve yet to encounter the havoc of the Gambia, time permits my mind to replay this scene again and again; futility defined well is the image of the pothole fillers encounter.

I wonder does this scene resemble how God sees His image-bearers ever striving to please Him with insufficient labors supposed to correct the scales bearing our sin. It weighs on my conscience heavily as we travel deeper into a land whose people are bent on shoveling grains of sand into a bottomless pit of despair known as religion.

I settle back into my seat; we have a many hours yet of chicken nests to endure, and up ahead, “The Twilight Zone.”

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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3 Responses to Journaling in Distant Lands; Chicken Nests

  1. Our efforts in an of themselves are just like those of the men filling in one pothole in a sea of potholes. As a pastor I am constantly faced with the truth that what I can do is never enough…BUT GOD… and that is where I have to stand with the only One in the universe who is enough. In all this world I can only point to Him and be effective.

  2. ccragamuffin says:

    This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words. 1 Cor 2:13
    My heart and soul wept as I read this parable that you lived and then wrote for us..these are inspired…God breathed…words. What a tragically beautiful expression of the futility of trying to make our own road to The Lord. My road was beyond repair. But God. He came Himself to be The Way. May we share this with those who have shovels…shovels they make themselves (more tears).

  3. Matthew Boyd says:

    I am loving it my friend! Looking forward to your bringing us along on the journey as you write.

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