Digging A Way Out

Stones on a Rocky Ocean Beach

Stones on a Rocky Ocean Beach

There’s a man who has been by himself in a prison cell with a dirt floor, crude stone walls, and there’s two windows one of which looks out towards the ocean. All of the sudden, he hears a scratching noise, and he looks down at the ground that is furthest away from the window facing the ocean. He sees the ground moving, and he starts to think he’s losing his mind. But soon the ground breaks, and up pops a head with long hair and a beard… it’s a prisoner.

And the prisoner says “Sssh. Listen. A group of us have been tunneling for about six years, and we’ve finally reached your cell. We have ways to cover up my entrance into this, but now it’s all on your shoulders, man. All you have to do,” he said while pointing out the window towards the ocean, “you just start digging here and go down about six feet and about 75 feet in that direction and there is freedom, and we’re outta here!”

“Oh, I love that! That’s great; I want to be free!”

“Okay, I’ll check back with you in a few weeks.”

Two weeks later, the pops back in to check on his friend’s progress, and his friend nods back with great affirmation. “Yeah, I’ve done it.”

So the man who was providing the instructions pops down the hole, and two seconds later pops right back up and says, “What have you done?!?!?”


“I told you to dig in the direction towards the OCEAN! This tunnel that you dug goes back under the wall and into the prison yard.”

“Well, the digging was easier in the other direction…”

Reflection Questions:-

  • In your life right now,what is one way you are digging in the “easy” direction?
  • How might your life be different if you were to dig towards the metaphorical “ocean”?
  • What tools or resources would enable you to dig in the direction of the “ocean” more often?


Author: James Patrick Tobin

From the glowing embers of your spirit
Came a little warmth of your love
Together we set it in a cozy little spot
Safe from the world up above

Then a soothing breath from your lungs
Helped to ignite the flame
On that lonely candle
In the core of my soul

As time passed day by day
Conflicts caused great winds to blow
But you cupped your hands around it
And it just flickered with a brilliant glow

They say that nothing is forever
But I don’t believe that’s true
That little candle in my heart
Is a loving peace from you.


He that loves a rosy cheek

                         Or a Coral lip admires,

  Or from star-like eyes doth seek

                          Fuel to maintain his fires;

  As old time makes these decay,

                          So his flames must waste away.


  But a smooth and steadfast mind,

                          Gentle thoughts, and Calm desires,

  Hearts with equal love combined,

                          Kindle never-dying fires,

  Where these are not, I despise

                          Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes.