This past weekend, my husband, kids and I went out and picked rock at my parents farm. I was so excited that we would be able to expose the kids to real manual labor. The most that they have had to do for chores are things like dishes, laundry, feed the animals, homework, help keep the house picked up, etc. Easy peasy.
Over the past few months, we have had to have the money responsibility talk. They want to be active in this and this and that and that as well as go to this camp and that one too. However, they expect us to pay for it all – especially when their mom doesn’t really pay for anything in regards to school fees/expenses, sport fees/expenses, or anything of that sort.
So, over the last few months, we’ve tried to do the “If you want it you need to earn it.” They get an allowance and if the want something outside of their necessities, they have to buy it. I was raised that way, Shane was raised that way, and they need to learn the value of a dollar.
Every story I’ve told them revolving around work, they roll their eyes and scoff as if I was lying. I worked my toosh off when I lived at home. Nothing was handed to me and I learned how to work (and work hard) at a young age. M&M refused to believe me until they heard it from my mom’s mouth over lunch.
They thought every “I worked for what I wanted” or “I used to pick rock for hours/days to earn my keep” or “You don’t know what real work is like. Just you wait” was made up, but quickly learned that I wasn’t lying. They got to experience first hand what being a farm hand was like. Walking the fields, throwing rocks, eating dirt, and getting burnt.
But, while we were driving up and down the rows, I realized that the rocks we were looking for could teach a really good faith lesson. See, we were looking for rocks that were pretty decent sized – anything bigger than our fists put together – the ones that could do severe damage to equipment during harvest. I looked at each of those rocks as a form of faith.
There was one area in the field where we were being deceived more often than not. We would spot a large surface of rock showing, jump off the moving trailer, run up to the rock while yelling “ROCK!” or “STOP!” to whoever was driving the tractor at the time. We would get to the rock, go to pick it up only to find that while it was large on the surface, that’s all there was to it. It was a flat rock or one that would crumble when we touched it. There was no substance to it.
But, on the flip side, we would see one that was showing a little less surface area. We would walk over to it, give it a kick and it wouldn’t budge. We would start digging and end up finding a goliath. Very few were we able to remove from their homes.
Now, you may be wondering why I was comparing these completely opposite rocks to faith. Well, it doesn’t really revolve around faith itself but more of the holders of that faith.
There are some people out there who claim to be strong believers but yet they don’t attend church, they don’t participate in any service (listening, watching, etc), they judge, they manipulate, they are hypocritical, they slander, and they do everything against what God has commanded. Thus, the shallow rocks. On the surface they seem so large and strong, but if you do a little digging, they lack substance and crack under any amount of pressure.
Then there are others who don’t really talk about their faith and have the appearance of a shallow, substance-less rock. But, when you walk up to shake them even the slightest, they do not move. They are firmly anchored in their place and will not (and cannot) be moved with human hands.
But then I realized that the kids, Shane and I were acting as the God figure in that example. We were removing things from their natural place. We were applying pressure to those rocks and some crumbled.
God likes to put individuals in situations to see how much we lean on him – or don’t, depending on the person. I know He has put me in a few situations over the last month were I’ve felt like I could do it on my own. I tried and eventually shattered under the pressure- just like those shallow and fragile rocks. But, there have been bigger issues over the past year where I placed it all in His hands and I became that boulder that couldn’t be moved by human hand.
Even though our “rock” form may change depending on our situation, we all have one rock who will never change. He will be firmly placed where no one can remove him. We just have to make the decision if we want to crumble when put to the test or if we want to stand strong in our place.
Which rock would you prefer to be?