The Pit Parable

Imagine yourself in a pit.

Hold on a minute; some of you are in a pit, and you’re thinking about that. Stop thinking about that, and imagine yourself in a pit.

This pit is 100 feet deep, 10 feet in diameter. The sides are steep and sheer.

How did you get there? Good question. Maybe you were walking in a dangerous area and fell in. Maybe you were digging a hole and people around you warned you to stop digging, but you kept your head down, ignored them, and now here you are. Or maybe a sinkhole opened from nowhere and plunged you into the earth.

It really doesn’t matter how you got there. Because you’re in a pit, and you need help. The only way to go is up–and there’s no way to go up. Unless someone helps you, you’re dead.

Not that you’re a quitter. In your day, you’ve fallen into more ditches than you can count. They’re no fun, but you dusted yourself and climbed out of every one. You’ve encountered a few ravines, which were tougher, but with determination you made it back to level ground. Once you even slid into a canyon. That one seemed hopeless, but you turned and followed the canyon’s path, until it became a ravine, until it became a ditch, until you could step out of it.

But this is not a ditch, a ravine, or a canyon. It is a pit. And you are beginning to lose hope.

Just then, a friend walks by. “I see you’re in a pit. That’s awful! Devastating! I can’t imagine how terrible it must be down there. I’ll definitely pray for you!” And he walks on.

Another friend comes by. “In a pit, eh? I knew that would happen sooner or later. But this is America! The land of opportunity! The domain of self-made men and women! Now, get yourself out of that pit, and you’ll be all the stronger for it!” And he walks on.

From high above, you hear a voice call down. It’s a third friend, way up on a nearby mountain. “Hey down there! Hard to tell from up here, but it looks like you’re in a hole. Doesn’t look too deep, though. Hurry up and climb out!”

And then a fourth friend walks to the mouth of the pit. He sees you and shouts, “I’ve got some rope!” He tosses it down and pulls you to safety.

You’re free.

Now what?

Go find those friends. The prayer warrior. The American dreamer. The mountaintop man. And let them know that the answer wasn’t more prayer, more determination, or a different perspective. The answer was a rope.

Then grab a rope, and head for the pits.