Day: November 23, 2012

thankfulness/S

The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan (il...

The Children of Israel Crossing the Jordan (illustration by Gustave Doré) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 thankfulness/S

Sanity, saucy, scallion, scenic, schools, Scotland, sea, seeds, sensitivity, sequel, sermon, shabby, sight, silence, simple, sleep, smooth, snow, soft, songs, sun, spicy, spirituality, spirit, spots, standards, stillness, stone, strategy, strength.

Boy, there are a lot of words that start with “S”. I’m in a quandary-which to pick, which to pick. I love scenic spots. That would include Scotland.  I’m thankful for sensitivity in people.  I enjoy sermons. I like silence. I like smooth and soft things. I love the sun and spicy foods.  I’m thankful there are standards. I appreciate stillness. Strength is good. But I’m going to settle on stones. I know, strange. Stay with me here.

I like things in their natural state. Organic things. Stones certainly qualify. A stone is a stone is a stone. Sure, they be chiseled, painted on, cemented, or crushed but the essence of a stone remains intact. There is something eternal about a stone. They haven’t changed since the beginning of time. Stones cannot be recreated. They have only been created once.  

Stones have been symbols for various religions since the beginning of time. I have a red bowl in my bathroom full of small stones. On some of the stones, I’ve written the word “remember”. This refers to the story about Joshua and the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. The heads of the twelve tribes were each to pick up a stone from the river as a reminder of God’s deliverance by cutting off the water from the Jordan so they could pass through. The stones were kept in their home. They were then to be prepared to answer the question from their children as to what the stones meant. They were to say, “Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stone shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4: 6-7)

Joshua could have suggested any number of ways for the Israelites to remember crossing over the Jordan River.  He could have told them to simply pass the story on from one generation to another as was their custom. He could have told them to write it down. Instead he told them to pick up stones. I think it’s because a stone is a reminder of an Eternal God. It has substance.

Some Christian authors have suggested one should carry a small stone in one’s purse or pocket. The idea is to touch the stone throughout the day as a reminder of God’s presence. Or as a reminder for a new habit. Perhaps a reminder to give up a destructive one. My purse is really heavy so I haven’t gone that far. Another suggestion is to hold a stone during one’s prayer time. It’s a “grounding” thing. It reminds us that there are some things in this life that are everlasting.

When you get a chance, pick up a stone and think about the implications of holding something in your hand that is timeless, will never change and will never be recreated. It’s really quite soothing.

 

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