I’m not sure how old I was when I first heard about quicksand. I know for a while every time I went exploring in the woods I kept one eye peeled for this – the deadliest trap nature ever concocted.
Evidently there was ground out there, probably covered with leaves to disguise it, that would swallow you whole if you dared to step on it. And the more you struggled, the faster it would swallow. Your only chance of survival was to not panic, stay as still as a statue and have a friend with a rope or a tree branch help pull you out. I think that sums up my working knowledge of quicksand even to this day.
The most terrifying thing about quicksand to my little 10-year-old mind was that you couldn’t see it coming, and once you were in there was virtually no escaping on your own.
My guess is quicksand is a pretty rare phenomenon out there in the woods – or maybe I’ve just been super fortunate. I haven’t been quite so lucky when it comes to the spiritual quicksand of pride.
This is the way spiritual quicksand works with me. The other night I was at dinner with some friends. There was an opportunity for me to tell a story about my glory days as a college basketball player. In all honesty I only have about 2 really good glory stories, but this one was going to fit in perfectly with the conversation. But I had enough time to realize the only reason I would tell the story is pride, so I decided not to say anything and let the moment pass. It would seem I avoided the quicksand and would live to see another day.
Then, on the way home from the dinner I thought about telling Karen about what I did. Not only would I be able to tell the story I was going to tell, but I would also be telling her how humble I was at the same time. KABAM! A twofer. But I thought that through and decided not to even mention it to Karen.
So………… now I’m blogging about it. It’s relentless. Once you step into pride you better start crying out for help because there is no way to get out of it yourself. Pride finds a way. In the words of Al Pacino in The Godfather Part III, “Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.”
There’s an old hymn I remember singing as a child that helped with my fear of quicksand. It does the same today: “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”