The lilac bush had been around a long time--at least the fifteen years we have lived in the house. This branch that broke was not one I had slated for removal. It was one of the stronger ones with great flowering potential. Yet now it was dead wood. As I continued to saw my way through, the tiny teeth left a pile of fine powder sawdust around the blade. It looked like it was barely making a dent.
But that's where I was wrong. When I removed the saw to see my progress, there was indeed a cut in the wood; I remember being surprised at how deep it was. Heartened now, I continued.
I thought again about the seemingly little progress I was making. A secret sin or a bad habit--really anything contrary to God's precepts--can chip away at our resolve to conduct ourselves in a manner pleasing to God. We can justify subtle lies when they're wrapped in noble intentions. The behavior becomes so ingrained that we wake up one day, and hopefully realize our error.
We will be left to clean up the mess.