Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Rocks of Brotherhood
After being unemployed for several months, I received a phone call from Brotherhood Mutual Insurance company asking me if I’d be interested in a temporary job. Evidently one of their employees was injured when a firecracker went off in his hand and he had lost a finger in the process.
For my first assignment I was taken over to this huge lime stone rock pile which had been dumped in the parking lot and I was told that I was to fill the 5 gallon buckets with the stones and carry them around to the side of the building and pour them out along the entire foundation as decorative ground cover.
As I did this labor intense job on this hot summer day, it seemed like it took for ever and the sweat just poured from my flesh. The rocks were all the same white lime stone color and had very sharp edges from being freshly dug out from the lime stone quarry pit. These rock had never been anywhere, just dug fresh out of the earth! Sharp, jagged edges, hard to handle even with a shovel.
Occasionally I would spot a unique Lime stone rock that had a small fossil stuck into its side, but other than that, it seemed like it took forever to deplete this never ending pile.
Then to my surprise I found a perfectly round and smooth dark granite rock which was bigger than a clenched fist and it fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. As I picked it up and examined it closer, I was so intrigued with the idea that this rock was different even though it came from the same truck load. So I set it aside away from the others because it was special i didn't want to loose it.
Then the hunt was on as I worked faster until I found two more rocks which eventually appeared which were equally smooth and similar in size and granite species.
As I had all three rocks in my hands it dawned on me that these rocks were truly were unique stones because they were river bed rocks and not the lime stones with sharp jagged edges. These rocks had been challenged by billions of gallons of water that continually poured over them and tumbled them down stream as the years went by. They had been through the ice and floods, banged into by other stones and objects which microscopically chiseled away all of the sharp edges and with time and circumstances it made them smooth and soft to the touch. When I found these rocks they were unique and it inspired me to work faster to find more until I ran out of rocks to move.
Then it dawned on me how God allows us just like these rocks, the never ending trials of life which all seem to hurt us at the time, but when we look back we need to realize that it was that exposure which helped to refine us from those sharp edges of self-importance, pride, bigotry, violent behavior, intolerance, hostility, bad tempers and negative attitudes which we once so freely carried around when were maturing in our Christian walk.
Even though we are in the world like everyone else, we should be identified with Christ as unique and set aside as one of Gods own. We need to allow Gods word to change us daily and not just the trials of this world. If we are truly following Christ as we should others will know us when they observe and work with us that we are truly different from others that they have come in contact with.
As Christians we are all in the process of continual change until we take our last breath and while we are yet alive we should welcome the hand of our creator to help us in the smoothing process through the work of Jesus Christ.