Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Shot Of The Day

A rock and a high place

Between a Rock and a High Place

The expression, “between a rock and a hard place” is a strange one. Like most expressions, they roll so easily off the tongue that they bring a knowing nod to any audience. Everybody understands instantly what you mean. But really, what does it mean? The expression seems to offer nothing more than an authoritative conclusion. A period. It is as if the speaker is pounding a nail in the coffin of problems with each affirmation of doom. “Yep, I’m here. Yep. I’m in trouble. Yes. I’m stuck. This is hard. This place is hard. And I’m in it.” POUND POUND POUND you can almost hear in the background as the words affirm affirm affirm the hopelessness of it all. At a recent event I heard a speaker ask us “would you knowingly sow weeds, thorns and thistles into your garden?” Negative nods filled the room until she started to repeat frequent phrases from all of our mouths. “This sucks.” “I’m never going to get over this.” “I hate wearing reading glasses.” “My daughter will never do that.” “I have it worse than all of you.” OUCH. We were all doing it a thousand times a day. Sowing weeds into the garden of our lives. She explained the power words have over your life. “The power of life and death,” she said. A little dramatic I thought until I started to listen to myself. Are we ever really between a rock and a hard place, I thought? Or are we between a rock and a HIGH place? Isn’t it the challenges — the rocks, stones and hurdles — that take us higher. Look at this tree. It is gripping the edge of the earth for dear life. It is between a rock and a very high place… and the rock? It is part of what is preventing the tree from sliding down the mountain. So that particular rock, well maybe it’s not so bad? Like the hardships or afflictions that remind us that we can’t do things on our own or keep us humble by reminding us we are human. Other rocks? Well, maybe they need to be moved or stepped on. Perhaps the rocks aren’t so bad when you look at them as the stepping stones that they can be. When you are on rocky ground, I wonder if you may be on your way up to a higher place instead of stuck in the mud. The question for many of us will be, will we climb on the stepping stones or get stuck talking about them, affirming them, pounding them into place? May all of our rocks be stepping stones today!

Posted: 27 May 2008