Potholes

By Joseph J. Mazzella • March 25, 2014

I found myself driving the curvy road near my home slower than usual this morning. My eyes were open as wide as I could get them and I was scanning the road as intently as I could. I was swerving my car to the left and to the right. No, I wasn't drunk, sick, or sleepy. I was just trying to miss all of the potholes. An especially brutal Winter had produced a bumper crop of them this year.

As I rounded a curve I saw one that I couldn't miss. I hit it with a jarring thud and in a moment of anger one of those words I try never to use anymore slipped out of my mouth. I shook my head and slowed down even more. As I rounded another curve I saw a man in the road and slowed to a stop. He was directing traffic while his work crew was throwing shovels of asphalt into the worst of the potholes. I smiled at them all and gave them a little wave as I drove on. I knew that their patch job wouldn't last for long but was grateful that it was at least making the road a bit smoother for now.

As we all travel down the road of life we can't help but see that in places it is full of potholes. Pains and problems, difficulties and troubles, challenges and obstacles, sickness and death all lie along that rough road. There is no way to ignore them. There is no way to avoid them. There is no way to travel around them. What we are left with then is a choice. We can curse their existence and rail at God and life or we can take a shovel full of kindness, a shovel full of joy, and a shovel full of love and do our best to fill them in. We can work and pray and have faith that we are making the road a little less rough for those who follow us. And we can remember that while God didn't promise us a smooth road in this life He did promise to help us to smooth the road ourselves, one pothole at a time.

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