Thursday, January 2, 2014
I find rocks interesting. There's all different sizes, shapes and colors, not to mention the fact that they are sturdy little guys and can be used for a great variety of things. The rocks in these two photos share many characteristics even though they are thousands of miles apart.
The first pile of rocks sat along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea on the coast line of Costa del Sol in Spain. I took the picture on the beach behind the timeshare we stayed in seven years ago (wow, how time flies!). The second photo shows rocks forming a cobblestone street in Charleston, South Carolina where we visited just last month. I had to do some serious bending to capture that angle of the street, but I'm pleased with the results.
The rocks in Spain look much like the rocks in Charleston. In fact, I can well imagine a group of sailors several hundred years ago, gathering stones from the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and placing them in the lower parts of a sailing ship as ballast for a journey to the new lands of North America. I can imagine them landing in the new, fledgling seaside village of Charlestown, unloading their pile of rocks and replacing them with rice and tobacco and cotton. In which case, a bit of Spain had been transported and "planted" into the soil of this distant country when the rocks were used to pave one of their muddy streets.
According to Wikipedia, Ballast is "a material used to provide stability to a vehicle or structure. In a vessel that travels on the water, the ballast will remain below the water level to balance the ship." The description also said that this stone contributed to the architectural heritage of some east coast cities where the stone was used as building materials -- like many of the old streets in historic coastal cities.
According to Ecclesiastes 3:1& 5, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them together."
With our finite minds, we as humans don't always know when is the best time to scatter stones and when is the best time to gather them together but, of course, our infinite God knows all the times and seasons and if we follow His lead, He'll let us know when the time is right for such activities (or any other activities we need to be involved in).
Not only that, but God tells us that as His children, we are actually living stones when He says, "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." 1 Peter 2:5. And furthermore, the most precious and important stone of all -- the true ballast for the entire world -- is the Lord Jesus Himself. "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.'" (2:6).
I'm thank for the Ballast in my soul -- the stone that the builders rejected -- the one who effectively holds this world together, balancing this vast earth and providing its stability with the power of His omnipotence. He is the Rock that never fails.