When you think of roads and sidewalks I’m sure you think about pavement and cement. However, here although the roads are paved the side of the road is dirt with rocks scattered everywhere. With a person as clumsy as me it gets tricky trying to run without falling. Don’t laugh….I’ve kept my balance…so far.
Thankfully running on this terrain has served a small purpose as it has helped me understand one of jesus’ parables a little better.
“He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. The seed on rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.”- Matthew 13:3,5-6,20-21
Some days these little rocks make me angry. I have to spend my time looking down trying to avoid the rocks and miss out on the beautiful scenery around me. The rocks are taking my attention away from the sky, the mountains, the greenery.
One day it was enough to make me quit. I had enough of my ankle collapsing from stepping on the rocks. I was tired of the rocks jabbing my foot. My toe hurt from kicking rocks so hard. So I quit. I was done. I wanted nothing else to do with running.
When I left the house that morning I assumed the run would be enjoyable. But the more rocks I kicked the quicker I became angry and quit. I didn’t last long. The rocks became my problem and I let them win.
Just like these pesky little rocks we have problems that arise in our lives every day. Some days the problems might seem small. Some days the problems might seem like you can’t take any more. Some days you might be fighting for your marriage. Some days you may just want to let your kid go to school without shoes to keep from fighting the small battles. Whatever the problems are, they are there.
And the little problems become huge problems when our roots are on the surface drying up. When instead of being strong and deep they are cut off by the rocks of this world.
Praise Jesus twenty-four hours later it was a new morning and I was able to put the past day behind me and start fresh. I was able to go back to the rocky path without being deterred or becoming so angry.
But what about those people who don’t wake up the next morning feeling like it’s a chance to start fresh. They are still beaten down by the day before. They don’t feel like fighting the same battle over again. So they quit. And never try fighting again.
Those people need me. Those people need you. They need for us to pick the rocks up off their path and throw them out of the way. They need for us to encourage them along the way as they let the roots grow down deep.
What rocks do you need to help others throw out of their path?
What rocks do you need to throw out of your own life to let your roots grow deep?