Rockpicker's lessons on a beach

This post was written in November while I was away for my last treatment. I never finished it, and will post it "as is". As a homeschooling mom, attentive to the four little brains wandering around my feet today, I think often about how object lessons or real life experience can convey deeper, more lasting messages than we might imagine. Rocks were one of those lessons in my life. I am working on a post with photos from the Moroccan dinner on Saturday, but haven't got it finished yet...so here is my rock-picking post from November while you wait!


I have loved rocks since I was a very small child. I remember picking up pieces of gravel and bringing them indoors for my busy father's appraisal (usually interrupting his work to get a quick opinion). I learned many lessons about rocks from both parents, without a spoken word on the subject.

Yesterday, I walked down a deserted, mist-covered beach near the outlet of one of my favorite rivers. The great Gitchee-Gamee thundered on one side of me, and crashed against the obsidian cliff at one of the beach and gently rolled over the stanchions at the river's outlet at the other end. I walked along in the mist, standing upright, looking for the peculiar glitter of agates in the November chill. The yellow grass swept along in the wind next to me. Icy drops from the crashing waves coated my shoulders.

1.We eventually learn to recognize beauty and truth from a distance. As a child, I stooped down and crawled along in the rocks, my face inches away before an agate popped out at me. But my father walked along, with his hands in his pockets, and occasionally bent down to pick up a pea-sized rock of particular beauty. Today I did the same. And I saw the agates. What stage of life are you in - are you kneeling in the pile, digging desperately? Or do you have a trained eye already?

2. We have a choice. You can narrow your search to the truly magnificent, or you can collect the pea-sized rocks and have a line of jars on your window sill filled with more ordinary finds. Either can give you joy. What are your resources? What type suits you best? Ordinary? Extraordinary? God will use both.

3. Test things. If you wonder if it is really remarkable, toss the rock back down into the pile. If it is as beautiful as you think it might be, your eye will quickly pick it out again. If you aren't sure of God's will, toss the idea down. Delay putting it in your pocket. It will pop back out at you if it is the right one.

4. There are agates on every beach. There are more on some, less on some. Some beaches have bigger agates, some produce more quantity and less quality. What kind of beach are you on, metaphorically speaking? Who surrounds you? What type of choices do you need to make?