Rocks of Remembrance...
In the Old Testament God encourages those who follow Him to erect markers at significant moments in their lives so that they might have them to look back on and remember. Days will come, God knows, when we forget His goodness; and it's on those days, especially, that we'll do well to look back. Jacob does that. So does Mosess. So does Joshua. Rocks of remembrance.
I have my own rocks of remembrance, and I was privileged to visit them this past weekend. I'm down in California visiting my mom and in-laws. The days ahead look quite full and challenging and many levels. There are issues with aging parents as well. As our church grows, the challenges of keeping Christ first, and letting His reign increase in lives, both personally and corporately, is challenging. I left for Fresno feeling tired.
But on Saturday afternoon, with all this and more on my mind, I was able to make my way up to the camp where so much that was significant in shaping me happened. The camp is only a few minutes from the gate of Yosemite, located in the marvelous altitude where the aroma of Manzaneta is thick. That smell is my childhood, my formative years spiritually. As I drove up to the camp, countless memories filled my mind, both noble and ignoble, but two significant ones stand out...
1. The chapel where I had a deep encounter with God was still there. I remember that day, just over two years after my dad died, when I prayed in the snow and committed to making knowing God the main pursuit of my life. To this day, my commitment made there has become something of a reference point. When confused - turn towards knowing God. He'll change you, make you all that your supposed to be. I remembered the moment, and confessed how often and easily I lose the reference point.
2. I walked over towards office from the chapel wondering if it would still be there, and it was. When I was about 8 I drove up to this camp for the first time, dropping off my sister. My dad got out of the car and walked over to a water fountain, made of stones, and said, "This is the best water on earth. You can never get enough." He drank. I drank. And he was right. But something about the smell of Manzaneta, blended with the pure mountain water, and the crisp, pine air created a sense of deep contentment. Every year I went to camp, the first thing I did was drink from the water fountain. And over the years, I've thought often of that stone fountain, making it my rocks of remembrance. That living water pours out from these rocks is only fitting.
I hiked through the mountains on a trail I'd taken many times as a child and prayed, remembering that God has been faithful and forgiving. My Rock. My Living Water. And I was reminded to seek God and drink from His Life.
Do you have a rock of remembrance?