Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Rock

     It was a Sunday afternoon at youth group and I was a junior in high school. I don't recall exactly what the lesson was about that day, but at one point we were told to go out in the church parking lot and find something that reminded us of God. He promptly walked about 5 feet outside the door, picked up a rock, and then walked back inside and continued talking about football. I was ready to tease him about being lazy and taking the easy way out, until I heard his explanation. He said the rock was strong and solid, like God's promises. It took him about thirty seconds to produce that wisdom, while I probably spent 10 minutes trying to come up with some in depth leaf analogy that didn't entirely make sense. That day, I learned that things don't have to be complicated to be profound. I began to consider that maybe faith only seems perplexing because I make it that way by overthinking.
     This is not a story about birthdays that can no longer be celebrated joyfully because the guest of honor isn't here anymore. I started to write that, but it was just too devastating to sufficiently put into words, and I don't think writing that would have done anything positive for anyone. This is not a rant about how a chemical imbalance in the brain, or anything else that can go wrong in the human mind, is not inherently sinful. (I'd like to write about that someday, but I don't have enough knowledge yet.) This is not another one of my wrestling matches with God about a loss I still do not understand, because I've learned that sometimes, understanding is not the goal. This is simply a story about a lesson my friend taught me when we were both seventeen, a lesson I hope I never forget.

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