In Outdoor Ed, we teach a geology unit, where students learn to identify common rocks and minerals found in Missouri. We then take them up to an old tailings pile (from what used to be a mine) for the kids to dig and find/identify rocks, and they are allowed to keep some of the samples they find.
We encourage them to find galena (state mineral of Missouri), calcite, limonite (pipe iron), quartz and many others that generally have some sort of value associated with them. Some of the most common and most abundant rocks are sandstone and limestone, which (at times) can be pretty to look at, but are so commonplace and have zero inherent value. Yet the kids get so excited when they find it and they try to collect large samples (of heavy, plain rock) to carry back with them.
They carry worthless rocks, thinking it will benefit them!
Almost every time, after lugging around those rocks, they finally give up and toss them to the side. But at that point, they’ve wasted most of the activity time and don’t get the chance to find anything else successfully.
It makes me chuckle to myself when I see this, but how often do we do that with things in our lives that have no value or eternal worth? We get so stuck not only on searching for and hoarding things that make us temporarily happy or satisfied, but we also hold on to what we think is important or worthy of our time & energy, not realizing what we’re missing out on. Sometimes we do this even after we’re told that “it’s just sandstone.”
Instead of investing the time and effort to find small quantities of things that will give us learning experience, or the true satisfaction of having learned to collect something meaningful, we sell ourselves short by having a “gimme” attitude. We settle for big ‘ok’ finds rather than persevering to find the great ones.
Now, I can’t say what those ‘rocks’ in your life are, or more importantly what the things with value are in your life. But I know in mine, there is a clear difference, like black vs. white or right vs. wrong.
So it’s time to take heed of the teachings which we know and have been taught. It’s time to throw away the ‘rocks’ or burdens of sin in our lives and seek after the things which will truly bring life and happiness and peace. It’s time to empty our hands of the things we once held so tightly to and empty our pockets of the dirt, dust and pebbles that have accumulated over time. We certainly can’t assume or keep pretending that those rocks (however great or small) will not become stumbling blocks to us later on.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.