I was sifting through some things in my desk drawer and discovered a small, flat rock. I immediately picked it up. Small stones are a keepsake for me. This one was from Nova Scotia. As my fingers grazed it’s smooth surface I realized it held more than memories.
We have been to Nova Scotia many times to visit family. We enjoy driving near the Atlantic Ocean where the coastline is rough and alive; it always wakes me up to the power and wonder of creation. Our favorite destination is equally dramatic: a jagged staircase of white granite rocks of varying shapes and sizes that ascend haphazardly up to a lighthouse. Of course we have to climb to the top!
I remember going there when our kids were little. My daughter often had the best view as she rode along on her dad’s shoulders. As they got older, our children became the guide, rushing ahead to show us the way. One year we all landed on top of a huge boulder. It was not an easy climb to get to the top but once you arrived the view was amazing. We all just sat there for a while and took it all in. You could look down and see how far you had come. You could look out and see white caps rising on the dark blue sea. You could look up and see the lighthouse, set perfectly on top of the highest rock.
Throughout the years, I have lived out what it’s like to be at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the journey up those rocks in everyday life. Sometimes, I’ve wondered if I will make it. At times, I’ve taken a wrong turn and had to start again. Sometimes, I have needed a hand to hold and pull me up to a steady landing place. It is usually the most exciting at the beginning and the end of the journey but it seems like we spend most of our time in the middle.
As I hold the small stone in my hand I remember sitting in the middle of the journey on that giant boulder. I am reminded that I can look back and see how far I have come. I can look up and imagine what is yet to be.
As I look out at today, I am reminded of something else. I remember who is with me. I remember a prayer: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Ps 61:2b, ESV)
There is something deep within us that wants to go higher. We need more than the success of making it to the top. We need the reality of God as our rock. With God we have a new vision of ourselves and our lives. With Him we have a secure place to stand where we belong.
This is so important because it’s easy to lose our awareness of God as we go about our day. We can so easily slide back down into the shallows of life, missing the glory of the Lord and the ease of His ways.
The good news is that we can always change course or redirect our focus. God’s steady arm is ready to pull us back up. Even more, as we keep climbing, we can offer a hand to others, trusting that we can all make it as we keep moving forward. Wherever we are on the journey today, the Lord is with us.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.