According to Greek mythology, Hercules was ordered to perform 12 labors. These labors or punishments varied in danger and degrees of impossibilities.
The fifth labor was a very dirty and demeaning task in that Hercules was required to clean the stables of King Augeas. These stables housed thousands of animals which included cows, bulls, goats, sheep and horses. As one can imagine it was a very humbling task.
To add to the shame of the mighty Hercules performing this task was the time in which the cleaning was to be accomplished. Hercules was given one day.
However, Hercules was successful in that he created a huge hole on one side of the animal yard that enclosed the stables. Then, Hercules carved out another large hole on the opposite side of the yard. After creating these holes he then diverted the flow of two nearby rivers so that the waters flowed through the one end of the yard through the other and taking with the water flow all of the animal waste.
This story has implications for some of us today with the financial mess we find ourselves involved in. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes that can cleanse our credit ratings or wash away our indebtedness. However, it has often been said that we dig our financial holes one “shovelful at a time.” Consequently, we need to dig ourselves out or clean the stables one “shovelful at a time.”
These "shovelfuls at a time" can be accomplished by paying our credit card bills in a timely manner, stop using credit cards and prevent further indebtedness, paying extra money on higher interest bearing credit cards, stop going over credit card limits, etc.
Like Hercules, we can take this smelly and difficult task and divert the waters of God’s Grace and allow His mercy to flow through and wash away the years of financial waste. However, the reality is that it took one “shovelful at a time” for us to dig ourselves into this predicament and it will take one “shovelful at a time” to dig ourselves out.