A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man
contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Either way, we have a pile of rocks to deal with. What becomes of the rocks has everything to do with the image we bear within…
Have you ever stood looking at the pile of rocks that constitutes your life or your community? Let me guess at some of the refrains that have played their dirge through your mind:
I am plain and simple, just like these rocks.
There’s nothing special here to look at, so don’t.
Rocks are a dime a dozen.
What’s so great about rocks?
Life is hard, just like these rocks.
I’m as dumb as a rock…if I haven’t ‘gotten it’ by now, it ain’t gonna happen.
Rocks are old. So am I.
Rocks are useless. They just get in the way.
Moving rocks is a lot of work. No thanks.
On and on it goes. Until the Lord comes along, looks at your pile of rocks and says, “That’s not what I see. I see potential. I see possibility. I see the finished product. And it looks absolutely beautiful.”
There are two sides to every coin. And often in matters of spiritual development, there are two all-too-typical responses:
“I am not as you say. And frankly, I don’t believe You.” Or,
“Because of Your grace, I am finished. You said so, so it’s all good.”
For some Christians, either response is as far as it goes. It’s their reality; their belief of what is true.
For others, they hear the truth of their potential and shift from not believing at all to believing it was all done for them and to them, so there is nothing they need to do. After all, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
This, my grape-buddies, is precisely where the truth begins to get muddled.
No one knows this better than our Bridegroom for He is fully aware of the gap in understanding that lies between these two ‘realities’ …
Truth served up – “I am not as you say” – with a dash of unbelief doesn’t result in humility. It results in unbelief.
Likewise, truth named and claimed merely creates an illusion of peace. It may be a raging storm on the inside but admitting that would lessen the testimony of the ‘cathedral’, wouldn’t it?! Since shalom means whole with nothing missing and nothing broken, does “You said so, so it’s all good” sound finished to you?
In either case, the profession from our lips only hinders our understanding the intention of the Bridegroom, which is to make us to become the image He bears within himself.
It doesn’t hinder Him at all. We merely present Him with the challenge of bringing forth His highest and best from the “pile of cathedral rocks” that lay dormant within us. Those rocks hold the spiritual capacity that has been planted in our hearts; the now and the eternity of who and whose we are.
While we stand staring, hating, ignoring, or feeling overwhelmed by the pile of rocks, He waits. And while He waits, He looks beyond our present immature understanding and contemplates the image He bears within Himself. And He smiles in anticipation…for He’s a Man with a plan.
“Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.” (I Peter 2:5 MSG)
From the rock pile,
Photo: Vineyard church near Cahors, Lot, France, Sept. 2008; Author Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at www.shammahsfield.com.