Perhaps it started with this one, as I began a significant spiritual journey, seven years ago. This rock sits in a labyrinth on Bowen Island, and I found it again this summer!
Since then I've collected them, written words on them, even painted on them, from the silly to significant.
I've read some great pieces and poems on living in the present... you know that saying where one shouldn't live in the past, or the future... but cherish today!
There is truth in that, but I want to offer the value of looking to our past. Sometimes we need to revisit the painful places and ask for healing. This can be a difficult task, easier said than done. But it can be critical for our well being, and even understanding what shapes us, what triggers us, and understand the relationships that have affected us.
While we can't live in our past, we can definitely learn from it!
There is another story that I love, which comes from the book of Joshua. When the Israelites came to the Jordan after forty years of wandering in the wilderness... and some very painful experiences... Joshua was instructed to have them build piles of stones. These stones were to be reminders of their past. They were to look back and see how God had led them, God had never left them.
When I look back, I can see how God has led me... and I recognize that it is in the places of suffering that I learned the most. I also see the goodness of God... the faithfulness of God... and as I build my own pile of stones, I can offer gratefulness with a very thankful heart.
I had fun recently drawing my pile of stones, and named them. These are the markers of my life, gifts God has given me, even through pain at times. I called them teachers on my life's journey.
What are your stones?