Alyssa had asked to ride her bike, so on this warm, August day when it was just the two of us, we headed out. I walked beside her, and my plan was for us to ride the length of our road and come back.
Suddenly, in the middle of her ride, Alyssa stopped. I had no idea why, so I watched as she walked over and picked up a small rock. “Hold this, Mommy, please. It’s for my rock collection.” In my hand was a plain gray rock, possibly only a fragment of the chip-and-seal. I held it and we continued.
A little further up, she stopped again, for the same reason. I marveled as she showed no concerns slowing her pace, taking her focus momentarily off her destination.
Besides drinking in the moment of enjoying this beautiful afternoon with her – my last year to have her home before she begins kindergarten – my sights were plainly set on the end of the road.
I’m so glad I didn’t rush her. Because her simple act taught me something profound.
Sometimes I need to stop and pick up a rock.
I’m a “get to my destination” type of girl. Whether that is graduating college or making my sales goal in advertising or building a successful department in my career or organizing a new ministry at church, I see the destination, and I go forward.
But in my quest, do I see the rocks on my path, those individuals who might benefit from a pause in my run to pick them up?
Jesus had a destination, too. His destination was to die at the hands of men and rise from death. But what did he do in the days, weeks, months, and years preceding his destination?
He stopped to pick up rocks.
He saw beauty in ordinary sisters, longing in a tax collector, spark in a man born blind, potential in a simple fisherman.
He had His destination; from His Father’s grand plan He never wavered.
But He still kept His eyes open on His path to see the rocks, especially the rocks cast aside by others.
And through those rocks He built His church, the unstoppable force of grace and truth for a dying and hurting world.
May I peel the blinders off my peripheral vision. May I slow my pace. I want my eyes be open to the rocks on the path. For they are more than rocks, of course. Each is unique, full of potential. And many are just longing for someone to stop and say, “Come with me; we’ve got an amazing destination ahead.”