Wednesday, March 5, 2014
This is my prayer rock. I made it last year for a bible study group. We were asked to write down a word that best described our faith and to write it on the prayer rock. I thought and I thought and I really couldn't decide what best suited me. Every word I could think of didn't really describe my journey and what I felt in my heart.
As I held my rock cupped in my hands I was reminded of how throughout life we pick up rocks along the way. We carry burdens that weigh us down. Some rocks are regret, guilt, or shame. Others are mistakes we can't forgive ourselves for. Some are even feelings we carry with us when others throw their own rocks at us. Some are the size of pebbles and others are boulders. These rocks are all the trials we face in life great or small. Sometimes we beat ourselves up with these rocks. We carry them around and they weigh us down. It is hard to go places carrying rocks. They slow us down and hold us back.
But rocks are not permanent. Wind and water erode rocks and carry them away. Fire melts rock down to ashes. To dust.
Faith is kind of like that too. Jesus came into this world and loved us so much that he carried our burdens for us. He carried a cross, suffered greatly, and died for us. He even forgave us. After he died his disciples laid him in a tomb and sealed it with a huge boulder. It really isn't a mistake I think that when he rose from the dead that this rock was moved. His love for us is greater than any rock. Any obstacle. His love is greater than the burdens in our life.
Jesus taught us something incredibly powerful. Love is the greatest of all. His example teaches Christians everywhere that we are called to carry the burdens of others. This is the most powerful act of love that we can give. It means sometimes making choices outside of what we know from the Bible. It means sometimes using our hearts and not just our heads. It means doing the right thing even when it hurts. It means putting our own rocks down and picking up the rocks of our neighbors. It is following Jesus even when we don't know what the rest of our story is.
That is what faith is. Living out an unwritten story. It is trust. It is accepting all of the unknown and walking ahead. It is not easy. It is a journey we choose every day.
What this simple exercise made me realize is so much of my faith is still a blank canvas. My story is yet to unfold and is not finished. My faith is unwritten. It is unwritten because I have a choice. I have a choice to let God write my story.
God has written a story in all of our hearts. We are all called to love and serve one another. When we choose love, our story can be a wonderful part of God's creation. We follow Jesus and live the Gospel. WE become the story about God's love. Our story can be saying yes to God and letting him into our hearts. One day at a time.
I do still have a few rocks I carry. But what I am finding is that every day on this journey those rocks seem a lot smaller. These trials of this life will not hold me down. They will not break me. My prayer rock is a daily reminder of that.
I could choose to write my own story. Or I can choose to let my story to be unfinished. At first glance, it looks unwritten. However, I think it is the beginning of something more.