Have you ever heard this, “You are a stick in the mud!”? I thought about this little metaphor the other day and looked it up. Stick-in-the-mud was first recorded in 1733 with essentially the modern meaning: a person who is stolid and unimaginative, content with his lot and unprepared to make an effort to improve it. It is described to one who lacks initiative, imagination, or enthusiasm. It is also an old-fashioned person who is reluctant to change or innovate person set in their ways. Someone who prefers to allow things of seeming enjoyment pass them by or someone who prefers to “stick” (stay, remain) in the “mud” (a metaphor for depression and unhappiness). It is also a person unwilling to participate in activities of change.
If we see ourselves as a stick in the mud, let us look around us and see why. Mud is symbolic as messy, it is not liquid or solid which means not a good foundation. We can look at that as “lukewarm”. If you are ‘stuck’, there is little room for escape because once the mud dries it is like concrete and much harder to get out of that position. Usually someone else has to pull them out. The person is stuck as they watch others pass them by. The one who is stuck will eventually dry up, be resentful, bitter and will not produce fruit. Life will eventually be sucked right out of those who remain unteachable and set in their ways or should I say, ‘a stick in the mud’.
I have found myself teaching much about change lately and it is easy for me to teach it, yet it is always harder trying to live it. Why do people continue to look at the past, or how they think things should be just because it was the way they were taught or raised? I have seen so many people get delivered from traditional old ways and then I see people still stuck in the mud. If you refuse to change, you get left behind. I don’t want to be left behind, I want to be always moving and fluid to what God wants out of my life. Just because grandma had bake sales and made $100 doesn’t mean a bake sale works today like it did yesterday. We cannot live in the past to control our future. We learn from our past, treasure our past, but it is just that, ‘the past’. Our future is most important not only for ourselves but for our children and their children. It may be fun to play in the mud for a season but who wants to stay there and who wants to smell and be dirty for the rest of their lives?
People wonder why people have to change, why churches have to change, why we can’t have this or that anymore. If it is not of God, then God will stop it. Jesus said it best, “If you are not for me, then you are against me”. Sometimes people remain a stick in the mud because lack of knowledge. They are the ones who spout of their own opinions and poison others bringing division instead of unity. They remain unteachable to new ways or creative ideas. As leading a body of believers, we want the best for those who follow our guidance. We pray for abundantly living, and blessings in all areas of their lives. When you give, you receive. When there is a need for missions or for local, we give. If we were on the other side of the world and had a need, I would hope there was someone out there who heard from God and allowed God to bless them to bless others. God’s principles remain the same and His law is true. We seek Him, we produce fruit, we teach others to do the same and God rewards. I don’t know about you but I want to be right in the middle of God’s flowing power and not stuck in the mud!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray for those who find it a hard time to change. Open up their hearts and move upon their minds to be teachable and receive all that you have for them. Bring understanding to our mind. Lord when you see me stuck, please remind me not to be so hard-hearted or hard-headed but melt my heart to be pliable to your ways. Show me the ways to seek you in greater measures. In Jesus name. Amen.