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Monday, May 31, 2010

i got a rock.

This is the story of a rock. Maybe two, if you count the one in my head. It begins with a prayer meeting. A prayer meeting with visual aids. There were stations around the room and one station was a bowl of assorted rocks. The rocks, a 3x5 card told us, represented God's faithfulness. God's faithfulness is rock solid, his promises secure. We were invited to pick a rock and meditate upon these thoughts. As i did the rock in my hand became warm. i liked the imagery. i liked the physical token.

Some time later. i came across a smooth little rock at a time when the reminder of God's faithfulness to His promises, His trust-worth was a welcome and much needed thought. i took the little stone, smooth and black, nothing spectacular in itself, and put it in my pocket.

There it stayed. One of the four things i always carry in that pocket. A lighter- one must always have the ability to make fire. See Cast Away. Chapstick- if you work outside you go through a lot of these or you have bloody lips. A multi-tool- the swiss army knife of my generation. And a rock, smooth and black. Possibly the most worthless weight i could carry but in some ways, my greatest treasure. Whenever things get tough or the pointlessness of life becomes crushing i put my hands in my pockets and there is a warm, solid little prompt. A prompt to see things differently. To rest on something, Somebody else. To remember the promises and the Promiser and that i have a faith in something beyond my own skills, devices and preparation. Which is a darn good thing. Cause i'm a'lacking. That little rock is getting smoother.

The Memorial day party at the Coop. Darkness falls and somebody starts giving all the kids glowsticks. My nieces run around "selling" them. One of the blonde haired, blue eyed Sirens comes up to me, "we'ah sellin' gyowsticks, want wun?"

"Sorry, honey, i don't have any money." i fish around in my pockets to prove the point since she's not old enough to know that married men don't carry cash. "All i have is a rock." i show her my rock. The rock which has reminded me of my Lord's faithfulness since before Christmas. She inspects it, approves it as currency and peels off a glowstick for me. Then she skips away. i'm left holding a glowing piece of man's cleverness which will fade before the night is over, longing for the lump of earth i gave up. Oh well, i think. It was only a symbol. i probably should have taken the opportunity to explain the significance of it to her. Maybe she even would have gotten it.

Today. A day of rest. i decide that the best way to recover and relax is too spend hours working on the idea of going fishing. We haven't used any of our tackle since Canada, two years ago. i go outside to collect, repair and refit, a task more suited to a team up of Indiana Jones and MacGuyver than a grumpy little fricken. After the perils of the Temple of the Tastykake toolshed/truck, the excavation through two years of rodent scat, i finally have all the gear. The broken down, next to useless gear. Perseverance being an angler's only virtue i press on. As i finish stringing the last rod in the driveway. The rough, gray, stone driveway. i happen to look down. Naw. i bend down and pick up a rock. It's warm in my hand from the sun. Smooth and black. i had to laugh. i think somebody is trying to explain something to me. i hope i get it.

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