Rock and water. That’s what a good portion of the earth is made up of when it comes right down to it. Yes, there are variations on this, but in general, we’ve got rock and water. And so often, the two interact in interesting way.
Rock is hard and immovable (or really difficult to move anyway). It stays put. It is solid. It’s heavy. It can force its way through many things just by the weight alone. And it’s not alive at all. Rock can be comforting though too – it’s predictable. It can be controlled with the right equipment and shaped to suit our needs.
Water is fluid. It is flexible by going around and through the easiest path, not forcing itself through (unless there is a ton of pressure built up). Water carves away at stone and other objects slowly, wearing them away little by little, changing them to make the flow go easier. Water is full of life and therefore full of movement often. It changes. You can’t put your hand in the water and grab it. Instead you have to cup your hands and allow the water to pool in it. In this sense we can’t ever fully control water – although we can direct where it goes pretty well. But when there is enough water, even we can’t manage it and it goes where it will.
Which leaves me a question – When dealing with people, we have the option to be like stone or water, what do we choose?
Sometimes we need to be the stone and sometimes the water. Knowing when either is appropriate is important. Being stone when water is needed can crush a person. And being water when stone is needed can drown them.
Lesson for church – too often we think the church should be either stone or water, but never cross over and be both at different times. Yet, life is messy. Sometimes we need the sure and steady rock in our lives and other times we need life-giving water that flows easily. Church isn’t an all-or-nothing place, or at least it shouldn’t be.