Rock Garden

For you are my rock and my fortress, therefore for your name’s sake lead me and guide me. (Psalms 31:3 WEB)

One of the joys of growing up is the wonder and excitement of everything in the world. Sunrise is a miracle to behold. Sunset a beauty to enjoy. Each blade of grass and twig contains a hidden story in its discovery by a little boy or girl. Every bug, worm, or other slimy creature is fascinating. Just the discovery that things grow and change is a mind blowing experience.

Children don’t understand everything that happens and sometimes jump to wrong conclusions. Often, we, as good parents, enjoy the humor of our children’s innocence. We laugh at their naive mistakes and the unspoiled freshness of their view on life. Me, I’m a practical joker from the word go. Just ask my children, they’ll give plenty of examples of Dad’s strange sense of humor. Add this to the simplistic outlook a child has on life and you have a formula for comedy.

I came home one day and our young son, Evan, was gathering five rocks into our carport. I sat on a bench, opened a book to read, and watched. He organized them carefully and then dashed behind the house. A few moments later he returned with a bucket of water sloshing from side to side and proceeded to douse the five smooth stones and much of the carport. His face showed his apt attention to the process. He insured each rock received the appropriate amount of water until the overflow flooded off the concrete into the yard.

“What are you doing Evan?” I asked as I looked over the top of my book..

“Watering the rocks,” he replied without looking up from his project. He stepped around them slowly checking that each stone was soaked.

“Why?” I wondered out loud.

“So they will grow!” replied Evan. He looked up at me, now that his watering was complete, and smiled. 

I just nodded my head, twitched my eye and said, “OK.”
Evan was convinced rocks, like trees and flowers, would grow when given enough water. We lived on a tropical island. Things grew with a flourish everywhere he looked thanks to the daily rain showers. The rain fell and he watched the trees and grass grow taller while flowers bloomed. Each time Dad cut the grass more rocks appeared to grow up from the ground to bend the lawn mower blade. It rained everyday and more houses appeared in the neighborhood. Flawed logic sure, but simple logic based on simple observation. 

That evening I started a week on the late shift. The evening broadcasts kept me at the transmitter site until around 3:00 o’clock in the morning. Before I headed home I looked around the transmitter site and found five nice rocks a little bigger than the ones Evan planted on the carport.

When I arrived home I carefully tossed the original rocks out of the yard and replaced them with the larger stones. Later I rose early just to see Evan’s reaction when he walked out of the house.

He looked at the rocks. His big brown eyes became bigger and browner. He walked around his rocks and smiled. Quickly he ran behind the house, retrieve the bucket and proceeded to water his growing rock garden and the carport.

This went on for almost a week. By the fourth or fifth day I was bringing boulders home in my car. They were getting too heavy to cart home each morning, my back was killing me, and fortunately my night shift schedule was coming to an end.

Each morning Evan inspected his rock garden. Another bucket of water was applied. He showed his new garden to everyone who visited. He carefully explained the daily watering process and how quickly they grew. They all looked at my wife, Beth, or me, to see if our son was bonkers. We just smiled and put a finger to our lips to keep quiet.

Finally the rocks stopped growing. My back had reached its limit. A couple days later he asked why his boulders we no longer growing. I finally explained that rocks don’t grow. I was playing a trick on him. He looked at me funny for a few minutes then started laughing.

I am reminded of another rock, one that is unchanging and a firm foundation. Unlike Evan’s rocks in his garden the rock of our salvation is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. No tricks, no substitutions, just the real thing. Believers whose lives are watered by the truth of God’s Word grow and build upon that sure foundation for eternity. 

Evan was building his hopes on a changing stone. Eventually it would fail. As a young man he now builds his life on the solid rock. No fear of failure, no misconceptions, just faith in the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. Where are you building today? Is your foundation a tumbling stone or the solid rock?

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