"The Rock"
(© 2001 by Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com)

12-28-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #422

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com

Story of the Week
"The Rock"
(© 2001 by Bob Perks - Bob@BobPerks.com)

"Grandpa, why do we have to do this every year? We come to this run down old cabin to find a rock." asked the young man.

"Because it is a tradition, a part of how I celebrate the new year," replied Grandpa.

"But they are just rocks, they aren't worth anything," the boy replied.

"Then you just don't understand," said the old man. "You are placing value on all the wrong things."

The young man shook his head.

"Every year on New Year's Eve for as many years as I can remember I would head out into the woods and mountains behind the cabin. No matter what the weather was that day, I would walk for hours in search of the perfect rock. I began this tradition when I was very young. We were poor in material wealth but made up for it in spirit. My Momma gave me a present that year wrapped in old tin foil and tied with a leather shoe string from my Daddy's work boots, which made it even more valuable, for my Daddy had passed away the year before. It was a rock," he said.

"You got a rock as a gift?" the young boy said in amazement.

"Not just an ordinary rock, but one personally selected from the thousands high atop the mountain at a point closest to Heaven, closest to my Daddy. Every year since then, I have headed into the woods and somewhere along the way discovered yet another treasure more valuable than any gift, more precious than gold," he said with a smile.

"Why New Year's Eve?" asked the young man.

"I listened to my friends. Every New Year's Eve they would toast to happiness, wealth and success. They stumbled over each other as they tried to top their expectations for the new year. "I'll be rich this year," one would say. "I'm going to make it big!" said another. As for me? I knew that the year would be whatever I would make it."

"I don't understand," the young man said.

"The very first rock looks the same today as it did back then, except that it is now a part of something greater. At midnight tonight we all have a chance to take the new year in our own hands and make it our own, place value on it, build with it."

"But Grandpa, it's just an ordinary rock. Why wouldn't you choose one that sparkles, one that shines? Something that looks new and exciting," the young man asked.

"Because the really valuable things in life are the basic things. This ordinary rock has lasted since the beginning of time and will be here long after you and I. The shiny, glittery rocks are kept in display cases, mounted on pedestals and looked at but never used. This rock will be added to the others. Like the years I have lived, they form together to create a strong foundation of faith and trust. I add the new year to my life and accept it in gratitude as a gift from God.   I don't turn my back on all the years passed, but stand firmly on all the wisdom gained from them. I'll admit that in my youth there had been years that have come and gone and I did nothing with them, they were wasted."

"So where are the others? Do you keep them in a box somewhere?" the young man asked sarcastically.

"No, young man. You are standing on them. This very sidewalk that you have obviously not noticed all these years grows every year by one more length. The stone that I had chosen that year is placed in the middle of the new walk in the spring. Every one of these represents a year of my life since starting this project."

"But the walkway doesn't go anywhere. It just leads off into the woods," the grandson said.

"It starts at the front door of that cabin and follows the same path that my Momma took when she gave me the first rock. 'This run down old cabin' as you called it was the house I was raised in. Like the rocks I have collected, I built upon the love that I knew here, the business I built and passed on to your Dad came from what I learned here.   Who you are and all that you will become began here, and if you have learned anything today, it will be passed on to your family."    

The young man stood nervously upon the pathway, tapping his foot on the last stone in the walk.

"Then this stone...this one represents last year, the year my Dad died. I was here with him as the two of you found it. I remember I was bored. But now..."

Grandpa reached his hand out toward him. The young man grasped it and looking at him said, "Thanks Grandpa for giving me such a strong foundation of love, hope and faith to build my life on."

They hugged and as they turned to walk the path yet to be built upon, the young man said, "Can we find one close to heaven this year?"

Grandpa replied. "This is about as close to heaven as any Grandpa could ever be here on Earth,
Happy New Year son!"

So my friend, what path are you creating?

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me to stay on the path that You and I are creating together, and off of the ones I inadvertently try to create without you.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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