The Scripture says that in Christ each person is a precious stone, a living stone, chosen by God (1 Peter 2:5). Yet when we gaze into the mirror, we often don’t fully see this image. In our spiritual journey, many of us are unwilling to wait long enough for God’s perspective to be revealed in us and through us.
The world does not see what God sees, what God saw when he formed you in your mother’s womb. While others have given up on God’s vision for your life, God remembers His will. His plans and purposes are still written on your heart.
Sadly, we have a tendency to limit our lives to what is seen. We allow our present reflection to distort our ability to hope in a greater beauty. We work from the perspective of the problem, from the vantage point of the pit. Our ability to dream for something better, to pursue a more noble path, is often hindered by the weight of our seemingly insurmountable problems. From this vantage point, possibility seems like fantasy or fiction. Fortunately, Hebrews 11:1 states, “Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not yet seen.”
My wife and I bought a rock tumbler for our oldest daughter Kysa when she was only nine years old. At the time, she had shown interest in the natural order of things, so we thought a tumbler might fuel her quest for discovery. The basic purpose of a rock tumbler is to take an apparently ordinary rock, wear it down, smooth it out, and polish it up to become a beautiful, precious stone.
With this goal in mind we loaded a half-pound bag of rocks into the tumbler, covered them with water, and stirred in a fine, abrasive powder to produce the necessary erosion. After tightening the lid, we plugged the cord into the wall and listened to the perpetual rumble of the churning rocks, accompanied by the loud, rhythmic whir of the tumbler’s motor. The volume produced by the machine’s accelerate erosion forced us to exile our geological gadget to the laundry room. Even so, a mantra-like whir was heard through the night, throughout the house, as the tumbler perpetually churned behind thin closed doors.
By the fifth day of the rock tumbler’s round the clock rumbling, we decided this hobby was not for those in need of instant gratification. This belief was confirmed when we gave the directions a closer look and realized that the three part erosion process was estimated to take over twenty-four days. Although my daughter was an extremely patient child, I could see in her face a somewhat disillusioned expression. I felt as if I had given her a do-it-yourself stalagmite kit. “Just wait a hundred more years and the fun is really going to begin.”
Neither of us had the patience to carry out the full experiment. Consequently, we took the rocks out of their erosion bin, washed them, and surveyed our progress. Although we did not hold in our hands a finished product, the rocks were already showing their inner beauty. I promised my daughter that we would eventually complete the twenty-four day process. We never did.
After continually tumbling our “ugly” rocks for five days in a turgid slosh of water and tiny erosive particles, we could see their inner beauty. Even though we had cut the process nineteen days short, our feeble attempt gave us enough hope for the possibility of discovery; that we may find a precious stone beneath the earthy, rugged, exterior of a kicking stone.
What do you see in the mirror? Have you yielded to the myth that your current reflection is the reality? Do you see a kicking rock or a precious stone? Dead stones take twenty-four days to tumble. How long does it take living stones to see their beauty?
Many people get just enough religion to make themselves miserable. Too often we short change the process of transformation by giving up far too quickly on God’s sacred work. I encourage you this Easter season to give God the needed time to reveal his beauty in you.