Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Grubbing Out a Stump

There is now a large, bare spot of ground located just west of the carport at the parsonage.

Three years ago or so, GVEC sent a crew around Cat Spring to cut down any trees which were encroaching upon their electric wires. Unfortunately they were going to install a three phase line through the town right next to the parsonage, and as a result, one of two large pine trees had to be taken down. Not only did the parsonage lose some great shade, there was now a pretty large stump in the yard.

For the past couple of years, I’ve known that stump needed to be removed, but because of the size, I knew it would be a daunting task. Therefore, I did several things to make the process easier. I drilled holes in the stump to allow water and other elements to begin breaking it down. I put several rounds of stump burner in it to again help the stump break down. I’ve burned the darn thing several times. But because of the initial size, very little seemed to be accomplished.

From time to time, I’d pull out my grubbing hoe and take a few whacks at the stump. Usually, I’d get a pretty good chunk or two out of the stump, but this was definitely not my preferred method of stump removal.

You may be wondering why I didn’t ask someone to bring in a backhoe or other such implement to dig the thing out. Well, I did. A couple of times, but people are busy these days. Either the folks forgot or got busy with other things. And the stump still needed to come out.

About three weeks ago, I became resolved that this stump would be out before the end of the summer. I sharpened my grubbing hoe and went to work. Whack after whack, the stump shrank. Chunk after chunk flew into the air. Finally, the majority of the stump was reduced to wood chunks and wood chips. Burning ensued.

Now, I wasn’t able to get the down deep stuff. Even the fire didn’t do much damage to it, but I was able to get enough of the stump out; I was able to dig down deep enough that the ground is level with a good six to eight inches of top soil on top of it. In a few months or even a year, the grass will be growing on top of it, and you won’t even be able to tell there was a tree there. Nothing will show of the work I put into getting that stump out. So, why bother? Why put in all that work if there is essentially "nothing" to show for it?

Well, I noticed something as I’ve gone through this process. Swinging the grubbing hoe has produced some sore muscles, but they’ve actually gotten stronger. My hands blistered a little, but they turned to callouses and made the skin tougher. Hard breathing worked my cardio-vascular system and burned calories. In effect, working and enduring made me stronger.

Is there a lesson in faith here as well?

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