Molten Rock

I’ve been mentally flagellating myself the past two years because I so rarely can drag myself out of bed in time to do the things I need to do. I get up, I shower, I drive to work, and I pull in to the parking lot fifteen minutes before the bell rings. I work, I parent, I study, I try to get in bed before 10. The next day, I do it all again.

And every Sunday, I refocus and I vow that this is the week. This week, I will get up in time to fill-in-the-blank with whatever guilt trip I’m currently booked for. You’d think I’d just do these things at night, but I’ve tried it. When trying to solve the not-enough-time dilemma, I always go back to the need for more hours in the morning, before anyone else is up. I cannot concentrate if anyone else is conscious. End of story.

The last week and a half, I haven’t gotten out of bed before the sun is up. Most days I toss and turn until my back aches and finally drag myself upright sometime after 8 or even 9. I read a book.  I eat stuff. I make food for my kids sometimes. I read some more. I go to bed as early as I like. The next morning, same story.

My realization for winter break, 2014:  Being well-rested doesn’t actually make it any easier for me to get out of bed in the morning. Clearly, more sleep isn’t helping.

Months ago, in mulling over this problem, I kept thinking of the story of a man who needed a way to light his barges for a long voyage God told him to take. Windows were impracticable for being tossed about in the deep, and so was fire. He was stumped. God having directed the journey, and the design of the barges, he asked God for solutions, but God told him to come up with his own solution.

So he goes up into the mountains and he forges 16 small stones, clear as glass, out of molten rock. He lays them out and says, touch them with your finger, God. Make them shine forth.

God does, and the story becomes marvelous, but for the purposes of this discussion, my point is this: The man puts one rock in each end of the eight boats, and neither he nor his family have to cross the great deep in utter darkness. Even though God directed the journey, man had to forge his own solution–but it was utterly worthless without the intervention of a Divine finger.

The question that keeps niggling at me, as I survey yet another tempestuous semester is, what are my stones? What are the  small and simple solutions that I need to molten out of the mountain God has given me to climb? What “impossibilities” am I overlooking in my search for a reasonably-lit journey?

Because while I do not believe He wants me to cross the great deep in darkness, I do know He has asked me to cross it–and He utterly refuses to tell me how to light the way.

I’ve been hanging out on the shore, and peering down into the blackness of the hull, venturing in, and retreating, long enough, don’t you think?


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