O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
(Psalm 30.3 NRSV)
Richard Lederer collects funny signs. Some of these are simply the result of people in foreign countries having difficulty translating into English. He says that at the entrance to a hotel swimming pool on the French Riviera there is a sign that reads like this: Swimming is forbidden in the absence of a savior. Maybe the person who put up that sign knew English better than we may suppose. Not only swimming but life itself should not be lived in the absence of a Savior.
Kenneth Filkins has caught this beautifully in a poem entitled “The Pit.” Let me share just a little bit of it with you:
A man fell into a pit and he couldn’t get out.
BUDDHA said: “Your pit is only a state of mind.”
A HINDU said: “This pit is for purging you and making you more perfect.”
CONFUCIUS said: “If you would have listened to me, you would never have fallen into that pit.”
A NEW AGER said: “Maybe you should network with some other pit dwellers.”
A SELF-PITYING PERSON said: “You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen my pit.”
A NEWS REPORTER said: “Could I have the exclusive story on your pit?”
An I.R.S. MAN said: “Have you paid your taxes on that pit?”
A COUNTY INSPECTOR said: “Do you have a permit for that pit?”
A REALIST said: “That’s a pit.”
An IDEALIST said: “The world shouldn’t have pits.”
An OPTIMIST said: “Things could be worse.”
A PESSIMIST said: “Things will get worse.”
JESUS, SEEING THE MAN, TOOK HIM BY THE HAND AND LIFTED HIM OUT OF THE PIT.
Are you in a pit? Let Jesus pull you out.
God of heaven, pull me out of the pits of my life. Amen.