Growing up out in the country of central New York State, I remember many area local landmarks. Our home was surrounded by rolling hills, a natural cold water spring, fenced pastures, for dairy cows, big rocks (boulders) large enough to sit on...The list continues with two which were very special to a young girl, and even to me now. We had a small one room log cabin, built by my dad and uncles and a one room school house, where Dad had attended school. In that list I included rocks, yes rocks, lots of rocks, large enough to sit on!
All of these places were for play times, for exploring, adventures, and those special times when as a child I wanted to be alone. At the top of the hill across from my house there was a small crab apple tree. After making the climb, breathless, I'd sit under the tree, and look down on my house, and the homes of my neighbors. Up there they all seemed so small, like little boxes. Just as their size was minimized to me, so quiet and distant...my problems also seemed a little bit smaller, and less powerful.
This story is mostly about a rock , and how it was a part of my growing up. It was anchored deep within the earth, on the side of Route 290, just up the road from my house. This rock was big, and smooth. Behind the rock was one of the neighborhood cow pastures. In my old family snapshots I have a photo of myself, with my sister, and a cousin sitting together on that rock. We were all very young, of preschool age.
As I grew older, and began to gradually pull away from my Mothers "apron strings," I would walk or ride my bike there, alone or with family and friends. Our neighborhood had lots of children; large families were much more common then. The rock was a meeting place, a resting place, and a "turn around", and head back home place.
I guess every city has landmarks: Eiffel Tower in Paris, Empire State Building and The Statue of Liberty in New York City, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in London. I know it sounds corny, but in Mycenae, New York it was "The Big Rock!" It was a small neighborhood , not much more than a service station, and our highway dept. sign " Mycenae." We used to say, if you blinked and missed the sign, you missed the neighborhood! It was not most people's destination, just on the way to Green Lakes State Park.
Well, the years passed...I think I was in my early teens, when something strange happened. Word got out that some men had come to look at "Our Big Rock." They said it would be used for some kind of marker. I can't remember if I actually saw the removal of our rock. I sure DO remember the loss that we all felt, the anger...Who gave them the right to take "Our Big Rock?"
Next we had a constant visible reminder of our loss of security...the empty spot that our "Big Rock" had occupied for thousands of years, resting in the earth. I have no idea where the term came from, but the spot became known as "Big Rocks' Grave." Strange, isn't it? It was not buried there. It had been taken away completely! Then we walked or rode our bikes to "Big Rocks' Grave." Even when gone, removed from our midst, it still had influence over our day to day lives, as we grew up.
Later, when I was about seventeen, I had a boyfriend who lived in a near by town, where I attended School. He also worked at our local service station, when there was still such a thing as personal service! Self serve was unheard of in those days. One time when he and I were out riding, he said there was something he wanted to show me.
We rode to a park, for swimming, softball, and picnics. There he showed me a monument , in memory of his Father, who had died; I think it was from cancer. On the rock there was a sign; likely brass,... on "Our Big Rock!" His father had been of great influence to his community. He was to be remembered by all who would stop to view "Our Big Rock." I felt so embarrassed for my anger at those who had taken our rock. I was ashamed for all of us.
There is another rock that has changed my life. That Rock is "The Rock of Ages, The Lord, Jesus Christ." At age eighteen I made a commitment to Him. Just like the marriage vow I would make months later, to my Husband, Norm...to Christ I said "I take Thee, Jesus."
As I have thought of these two rocks in my life, I've seen that they have some similarities:
I. Both were a refuge, a place of comfort and security.
II. Both were strong enough to hold me. I have trusted them.
III. Both are remembered in DEATH!
Just as there was NO Rock in "The Big Rocks Grave", there is NO Rock, NO Jesus in His Grave, His Tomb. It is EMPTY! "Our Big Rock" left us to bring honor to someone else. Christ rose from His grave....Gave us His forgiveness of our sins....Gave us eternal life....His grace gift to all who trust Him....All for the honor of the heavenly Father!
With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520
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