When Rocks aren’t Enough

Occasionally on a Sunday afternoon my children will approach me in great excitement with the words, “Dad lets go on a nature walk!” tumbling off their tongue.  Like a bear awaken from slumber, I slowly rise from the sofa, yawn, place my shoes on my feet, and stumble out the door.  The brisk wind blankets my face, and the sunlight blurs the image of Nate and Abby skipping to the pasture gate.      

On this particular walk, I am overwhelmed with the vastness and beauty of God’s creation.  The sky is clear as crystal and the sun’s brilliance illuminates the earth below. My children are unaware that the ground which their feet are trotting is moving at a speed 67,000 miles per hour in relation to the sun.  The sun, which seems a stones throw away, is a stunning 93 million miles from home; a distance so great that it would take 176 years to travel moving at a speed of 60 miles per hour.  This immenseness propelled David to write in Psalm 8, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”  

Our walk leads to the outskirts of the family farm where a creek serves as a boundary.  Nate’s walking turns to sprinting when he hears the gurgle of the water and sees the refraction of the sun’s light.  Along the way Nate has collected a few stones which he intends to display at the rock throwing contest against his big sister.  The excess water from the winter rains provides a sufficient amount of water for a few stones.  For a brief period of time I observe my children giggle and laugh as they toss their rocks into the water hoping their rock causes the greatest disturbance.  

Apparently, Nate isn’t satisfied with the performance of his rocks, so at the approval of his big sister and the amazement of his dad, he jumps into the chilly waters.  In sheer panic, I sprint to the creek’s edge and grab Nate and pull him from the water.  I stripped him of his clothes, wrapped him in my coat, and we began our journey back home.

This experience with my children has made me think about the rocks I toss to God. How often do we toss our rocks to God, walk away and assume that He’s pleased with our service?  We write our tithe checks, listen to Christian music, read the Scriptures, and faithfully attend services while our hearts are often far from Him.  I find it interesting that Jesus’ anger was most often directed to the “religious” people of His day: “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others” (Luke 11:42).  When we read the Scriptures we discover that God isn’t interested in our rocks.  He is interested in our hearts.  Only when God has our hearts will He be satisfied with our stones.

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