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Topic: Learning for Life (08/23/04)
TITLE: Life's Rocky Road
By L.M. Lee
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“Stupid cows, don’t they look where they’re going. They’d feel differently if they were the ones getting stepped on.”
“Did you say something Rocky?”
“Oh, don’t pay any attention to him, Pebbly, he’s just whining about the cattle crossing.”
“That’s not true Stony!”
“Rocky, don’t lie! You know you were complaining again.”
“Mom, make Stony quit picking on me!”
“Kids, settle down, you now how your mother feels when she gets sediment stirred up in her sinus.”
“Yea, yea, we know…if mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Rocky, Stony and Pebbly all settled back down to the bottom of the creek. The Stones had lived quiet uneventful lives for centuries in the shallow meandering stream that flowed through the Valley of Elah. Even the spring floods had failed to move them further than a few feet.
Rocky could remember years ago when they had been larger, rougher. They might have even been considered boulders. Not now. Centuries of water, river sand and sediment washing over his family had reduced all of them to nothing more than five smooth Stones. No use to anyone.
At night Rocky would lie awake and remember the great stories of history. Horeb Rock had miraculously provided water for the thirsty Israelites when Moses struck him with the staff. Ophrah Rock has made fire come up and consumed the offering that Gideon had offered to the Angel of the Lord. Then there were the twelve Jordan River brothers, plucked right out of the middle at flood stage. And who could forget the Sinai Stone twins! The very hand of God had inscribed His commandments on their surface!
Such a rich history! Rocks everywhere were being used by God. Every rock, but Rocky! God was never going to use him.
Every day Rocky battled with his discontentment. He knew God was faithful. He knew he was supposed to trust God and be content in all circumstances. But some days were just too long.
“God when are you ever going to use me?” prayed Rocky as he drifted off to sleep under the reflected moonlight dancing across the gentle ripples of current over head.
“Very soon, little one, very soon…”
The next day strange noises filtered down through the water to the anxious ears of the Stone family.
“Did you hear that?” asked Pebbly.
“Yeah, what is it Papa?” questioned Stony.
“Don’t know son, never heard anything like it before. Maybe the fish know.”
All afternoon the creek was abuzz with chatter about the strange racket overhead. Thousands of military personnel were marching on opposite sides. Tents started popping up. Campfires filled the air with the aroma of roasted lamb. For 40 days the most ferocious human the Stones had ever seen would come to the waters edge and challenge the other army to produce a champion.
For 40 days, no one came.
Then one day a gentle shepherd boy waded into the creek. He reached down and scooped up all five members of the Stone family. He slipped them into his dry, dusty, lint-filled pouch. It was very uncomfortable. Mama Stone sneezed and sneezed.
“Now what,” complained Rocky, “it was bad enough we sat in that creek forever, now we’re going to sneeze to death in this disgusting smelly bag.”
“Rocky, where’s your sense of adventure!” pressed Stony, “You always whine that God never does anything, He finally does something and you still complain! You’re never content!”
Before Rocky could reply, the shepherd scooped Rocky out of the bag. Securing him in the sling, the shepherd wound up and spun Rocky around and around high over his head until Rocky was so dizzy he thought he would lose his breakfast.
The shepherd had released the sling. Rocky soared through the air and landed precisely in the middle of the giant’s forehead, knocking him to the ground with a loud reverberating thud!
Knocked loose on impact, Rocky fell quietly into the lush green grass. Tears filled his eyes. Repentance for his unjust disappointment toward God poured out of Rocky’s heart.
In that moment, Rocky had learned life’s greatest lesson…the sovereignty of God.
…and Rocky cried out, “I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills [His purpose] for me. He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me.” Psalms 57:1-2
© 08/24/04 Lissa M. Lee