Tag Archives: Geology

Are You Carrying Rocks Around?


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. 

Hebrews 12:1

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.



History, Geology, and things we care about


In past semesters, I usually learned what I had to in my classes to get through them.This semester seems different though. I feel like my eyes are being opened to really learn things about life rather than just terms from a textbook.

It started in history class, where we are currently learning about how indentured servants were initially used as a cheap source of labor for the early American colonists. My professor was talking about how Europe sent orphans over to America because no one really cares about the orphans, therefore, they were good for labor in the tobacco fields. A girl in class spoke up and was arguing that people really do care about orphans. He (professor) pointed out that we as Americans send money over to third world countries to pay for the kids over there to have food to eat, but we don’t really care about them. After all, no one goes out to the streets just to spend time playing with orphans, or taking them into our homes because we really care.

It wasn’t what he said about the orphans that hit me, it was the thought, “What do I really care about that I invest my time into?”

A lot of times in life we claim to really care about something or someone, but when it comes right down to it, are we saying that because we really care, or because we want to make ourselves feel better??

For example, do I really care enough about my friends enough to actually invest my time to pray for them? Or is it just lip service, so that I can say I care about them? Do I make it a point to greet new people at church because I want them to feel welcome? Or do I pass them by, thinking that someone else will?

The second lesson came from geology class, where I worked with my lab partner and another girl to identify igneous rocks. We were stuck on one rock in particular that they were claiming was one type, and I was sure was another. I tried to explain my position, and why it was what I thought it was and not what they came up with. They were both convinced that they were right, and dismissed my conclusions…until the teacher came around. When they asked her to confirm their answer, she said it was incorrect and asked me what I thought it was. I then told her my reason for why I came up with my answer. After she walked away, both of my lab partners said, “Smarty pants.”

The point of this story is not to point out that I was right, but rather to illustrate our attitudes when learning. So many times, I have been guilty of what my lab partners did to me. Instead of just admitting that I was wrong and asking for help, I make excuses for myself, and end up not learning what I could have.

Our attitudes have everything to do with how we learn. Do you only want to think you’re the best, or do you truly want to learn? Are you willing to give up your pride and learn from others?

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

1 Peter 5:6 NLT