Every year around this time in March we have a stone-pickin’ party at our house.
You read that correctly, a stone-pickin’ party. It’s not much of a celebration and it usually involves just hubby and me because as you know, Mama’s nest is empty.
You urban dwellers or suburbanites, sometimes I envy your paved driveways. Out here in the country, we possess a 150-foot long unpaved drive consisting of limestone gravel.
Winter’s snows require hubby to plow it open with our trusty John Deere lawn tractor or if the snow’s really deep, the monstrous snow blower comes roaring out of its corner in the garage. Either way, gravel gets shoved or flung wildly into the yard willy-nilly.
So every spring, we pick up stones, literally. When the weather warms up, passers-by will notice us raking stones back into our driveway or hunkered down picking them out of the grass and depositing them back onto the drive. After a winter of many deep snows, we’ve even utilized the shop-vac to suck up the gravel. Yeah, we vacuum our yard. This all seems crazy I know, but there are good practical reasons for doing so:
1. Before mowing season begins, the yard must be free of stones. One violent fling of a stone thrown from the tractor can cause some serious damage to person, place or thing near-by.
2. It costs a small fortune for truckloads of new gravel every couple of years for such a long driveway, so we need to replace every stone we can find. I told you I was frugal! Plus paving a driveway as long as ours would also cost an arm and leg!
3. Thinly spread gravel creates a muddy driveway, so filling in the bare spots is a must. So you might say we “Leave no stone unturned” as the Greek playwright Euripides wrote.
Even though stone pickin’ causes my back and knees to complain and sometimes I do yearn for a nice, smooth paved drive, I actually enjoy the task.
Stone-pickin’ time means spring is here and I have a great excuse to go outside, soak in the warm sunshine, inhale some fresh air and enjoy the ever-present breeze. (Ok, wind tunnel in our case!)
Kneeling on gardening knee pads plucking stones offers a chance to bask in a springy day, get a smidge of much-needed exercise and do a little thinking without distractions. I like viewing the ground close-up, noticing the sturdy stalks of grass changing from brown to green, eyeing up little three-leaved clovers, getting my hands a little muddy.
Yesterday in near 70 degree temperatures, hubby and I commenced stone-pickin’. Humming as I worked, I realized those hunks of gravel were providing me some good fodder for my blog.
William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, “And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.”
I certainly am not a preacher so I won’t declare I found a sermon in those stones I handled. But God did provide scripture to consider and food for thought while I was stone pickin’.
“…now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ ” ~ 1 Peter 2:3-6 (New International Version)
Just as my driveway needs that solid foundation of limestone, my life needs a strong foundation as well. For me that means it is built on the Living Stone, Christ Jesus.
In my mind, He is the boulder, the huge solid rock, the cornerstone, on which believers stand. (Ephesians 2:19-20)
We are the smaller pebbles but as living stones, when His Spirit is active and present in us, we are a work in progress. I think as we build our lives on Christ, He also builds us as He molds and shapes us spiritually into His likeness.
And just as the stones from my driveway get out of line when they’re flung into my yard, we allow the world to lead us astray. When we focus on Jesus, He brings us back in line.
Yesterday as I picked up pieces of broken stone and placed them back where they belong, it reminded me what God does for us. He picks up the broken pieces of our lives and sets us on the right path to Him, but only when we choose to believe in Him.
So in my book of Opportunity today, on this 19th page in Chapter 3, I have to ask you – how’s your driveway? Is it built on the Rock? Do you have a firm foundation laid on the One way – Jesus Christ – to God the Father? Or is your path taking you in another direction?
If you want to know more, all you have to do is pick up God’s Word, the Bible, and start reading. And leave no stone unturned.