On Rock Hunting and Clumps of Dirt

14 Apr

Photo by cooee on Morgue File.

This past weekend, the girls and I were doing a little garden preparation work. Mainly, we were walking through the garden spot (which had been tilled a couple of weeks back) looking for rocks. We made it a little game, to try and hold their attention, and we would find rocks and put them in a bucket. It is good to remove the rocks from the garden, so as not to damage the tines on the tiller.

Granted, it is not as fun as playing I-Spy or other games, but, I thought, it is a good way for me to have a little bonding time with my daughters. My daughters are now six and four. They are growing like weeds . . . eh, probably a bad metaphor to use since I’m talking about the garden!

The youngest is an out-door enthusiast! No, she is not yet hiking trails and canoeing down raging rivers; but, she loves being outside. She will stay outdoors as long as you let her. The six year old, while enjoying being out of doors too, does not embrace it quite as enthusiastically as her younger sister. After a while, the elder sister is ready to return to the confines of the four walls and catch a good cartoon!

As we were scavenging the garden terrain for those rascally rough and rugged rocks, I could tell my oldest daughter’s enthusiasm for the project was disappearing faster than the rocks were from the garden!

At one point, she absentmindedly kicked the dirt and said matter-of-factly,

Daddy, I’m not saying this is boring, B-U-T . . . !

In other words, Daddy, this is really boring!!!!!

Well, I encouraged her to keep up the good fight and so she did!

As we performing our little chore, there were times when the girls (and I on more than one occasion) would confuse a clump of dirt for a rock. So, I told them to take the object in their hands and try to break it: if it broke, naturally, it was not a rock and only a clump of dirt. Several clumps of dirt were picked up and broken, mistakenly having been thought to be rocks.

Once, they even confused an egg shell as a rock. We will throw egg shells and things like potato peels into the garden to help the soil. They thought the egg shell was a white rock. After a lengthy discussion of why there would be eggs in the garden, they got the point and moved on.

As we picked up rock after rock and slung them into our bucket, I was thinking of God being our Rock (cf. Ps. 18. 2). I was thinking about the dangers of doing, what we had done a few times, mistaking a clump of dirt with the True Rock! Even worse, mistaking something as fragile as an egg shell for the Rock of Ages!

Think about how devastating the results would be. It reminds me of the parable Jesus used to conclude the Sermon on the Mount. He said there were two men who built houses. The first man built his house on the rock. But, the second man, did something quite foolish, he built his house on the sand.

In essence, he built his house on a clump of dirt!

At times, the clumps of dirt (and even egg shells) look very similar to a rock. So similar in fact, it may deceive even a veteran garden rock hunter! It may be so convincing in its disguise as a rock, that one must actually pick it up and feel it in their hands.

How many times have we been fooled, not in a garden patch, but in life? How many times have we mistaken a handful of sand or a mound of dirt for the Eternal Rock? And here we go, building feverishly our edifices and complexes on an uncertain and unstable foundation, only to watch in dismay as it falters and crumbles to the ground in ruin.

A rock is a rock . . . dirt is not! The Rock is the Rock! There is none other. True, there are many imitations and phonies. There are many that claim to be the rock. Or they claim to be just as good (or even better) than the rock. They claim to have the same sure-ness, the same stability and firmness; but, when tried, they prove to be paper thin copies and fitful illusions.

Is your life built upon the Rock?

 I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3, ESV)


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