Post Hole Fill-off-a-sy

by Kevin on April 1, 2010

Out here at the ranch, I am fencing in about 8 acres in front of the house. The ground is pretty easy to dig post holes in until you get down to a depth of about 3 inches. After that, it’s pretty rough going. There are no rocks and a person might think that this means easy digging—wrong!

I went and rented a post hole digging machine to dig all the holes. The machine came with two different size augers. The smaller auger was just a little bit too small for a standard size cross tie. The larger auger, it was just too big. This results in somewhat of a dilemma. Do you use the smaller auger and still have to dig it out to fit the cross tie? Or, do you use the larger one and tamp the dirt in the hole for three days?

On the first hole, I decided to use the larger bit. The machine did a pretty good job of digging the hole. It left quite a bit of dirt in the hole so there was still some post hole digger time. I set the cross tie in the large hole and started filling it in. I bet I tamped on that hole for about 20 minutes. No matter how long I worked, the dirt just didn’t seem to be holding. The dirt out here turns to “baby powder” when you beat on it long enough. With each ram of the tamping bar, a little puff of dirt came up out of the hole, but it never would lock in like it should have.

Not to be outdone by a post hole, I labored on. Little by little I would add more dirt and keep tampin’. When the post was finally set, I knew that it probably would have to be redone. I was hoping that after I got the other post set and the H-brace all tied together, the post would secure up.

I went on to the next post, only this time I used the smaller bit. I would rather use the post hole diggers a little longer than tamp for two days. It’s only my second hole and I already have blisters the size of quarters and I only have nine more holes to go.

My kids were “helping” me and my seven year old son thought that the post hole diggers looked like fun to operate. He asked me if he could use them for a while. I wasn’t using them at the moment. I was breathing so hard by now that I was afraid the EPA was going to come arrest me for all the carbon dioxide I was releasing into the air. I’m afraid I killed 3 acres of Amazon rainforest on just the first two holes. I let Griffin have the diggers and he found out real quick that there is nothing fun about that tool unless it’s when you put it in the barn after you’re done. After smashing his fingers, hitting himself in the head twice, and not getting four ounces of dirt out of the hole, he gave the diggers back to me. I asked him if that turned out like he thought it would. He couldn’t rub the knot on his head because he had smashed most of his fingers, but he still said, “You know Dad, you could have just told me no when I asked and saved me a lot of trouble.” I sure know how he felt.

I strung the wire and you get three guesses (and no, the first two don’t count) to what happened to that first cross tie when some tension was put on it. You have probably seen that famous Leaning Tower of Pizza (I know it’s not Pizza, but I don’t want to go look it up, OK). Well, I have the Leaning Tie of Coyanosa. After all that work, I’m just going to have to take the wire off and start over on that post.

Luke 6:46-49 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person setting a corner post and digs the hole deep and tamps it tight. When the wire is stretched tight, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who sets a post in loose dirt. When the wire is pulled tight, it will collapse into a heap of ruined hard work.”

Many people are not tamped down very well in their relationship with God. Everything looks good in their life until the wire is stretched tight. When tension comes, they start to sag and lean. This is usually the result of us trying to take the easy way out when God asks us to do something. God can make us strong enough to withstand any amount of tension, but we must be tamped down tight with his love and his grace. Unless we totally let Jesus fill our lives, we will continue to buckle under the tension in our lives.

©Kevin Weatherby, 2010

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