Wednesday

The importance of "standing stones"

Two weekends ago, Mike, Stephen and I traveled to Limon so that Stephen could play in the Rotary basketball tournament that took place at the high school gym. It was quite the deal. Kids grades 3 - 6, boys and girls, from all over the eastern plains of Colorado participated. Swink's 6th grade boys took second place. You can see pictures of the tournament at WritingPlaces.com in the photo galleries section under basketball/Limon Rotary Club Tournament.

Because of the many teams that were playing throughout the tournament, the scheduling was such that after two games on Saturday, Stephen's team had to wait until 7 p.m. Sunday night to play in the championship game. With gas prices the way they are, we decided to stay around Limon to see what there was to do, rather than go to a mall in Denver. Well, we found that there isn't much to do, at least on Sunday afternoons, but we had fun anyway. We had our cameras. What else did we need?

Before heading out on our "explore" - to borrow a phrase from Winnie the Pooh - Mike collected some area maps and found a wildlife preserve out at Kinney Lake. At this little lake we saw lots of birds along with a covey of quail that I frightened out of hiding quite by accident. I missed the pictures of the quail because they quickly hid in some high grass, but I did get to see them. There were also some cows out there that were really annoyed when we parked our van. However, other than staring us down, they were no threat. That was fun for about an hour. Kinney Lake isn't that large and the sky was too washed out for good photos, so we decided to move on. We did get some pictures of a windmill out on the prairie, as well as an abandoned house, and then we drove over to Genoa to see what there was in that neck of the woods.

The mostly abandoned town was a photographer's paradise. Sort of. We took some pictures of the town, including this one:





Mike and I have a twisted sense of humor so we got a good laugh over the fact that the Christian Prosperity Crusade's sign was hanging on a building that could only be described as derelict ... bedraggled ... tumble-down. The building was full of what appeared to be dust-laden junk. Had the Crusade become so prosperous that they needed to now store stuff that they really didn't need?

But we started thinking about what the Crusade had been. Was it a charity organization that had sought to bring good will and prosperity to the people of Genoa? Had it been a project of hope, turned to dust? Or was it a crusade of prosperity preachers who claimed that God would bless individuals who supported them with great riches and nice new cars?

Clueless, we did a web search and other than finding another person's pictures of the building, we found nothing. There was no history on this movement on the Internet. And, the town of Genoa's history only consisted of a rather anemic link on Wikipedia. So where are the standing stones?

The building is a standing stone, I suppose, but there is no information readily available to show what God did in that place, or what was attempted in God's name. And that's the important part.

"So, wait. What are standing stones?" you may be asking at this point. There is some good information about them at followtherabbi.com. They are essentially huge rocks - monoliths - that ancient peoples erected to mark a spiritually significant event.

In the Bible, a clear example of this is when Jacob set up a stone at Bethel after he had the dream of angels walking up and down a ladder in Genesis 28. The standing stones marked the fact that God had met him there. It's purpose was to remind Jacob but it was also built so that people would ask questions. Standing stones are like any monument that we set up here in America, except that they had spiritual significance. Ancient people usually set them up to tell others about what their god had accomplished.

A form of standing stone might also be a feast that reminds us of what God has done such as Thanksgiving, Passover, Christmas or Easter. True, they aren't huge rocks, but they are reminders. Other reminders could include something that you buy, such as a ring or some other token to signify something that was important. I once read a magazine article that talked about collecting small rocks at special places. The article suggested writing the place name on the the rock with permanent marker and collecting the stones in a jar. The gathered stones would help remind the family of their trips together.

You know, this could also be a practical way of keeping track of spiritual milestones, thus providing a visual reminder of what God has done. Visual reminders help us share our story with others as well so that they too can learn about God's goodness.

So what happened at the Christian Prosperity Crusade building that made it significant in the town of Genoa? What has happened in your life that might be an encouragement to others? What has happened in your church or anywhere else that a visual reminder could serve to share about God's goodness? Let us know.

P.S. Okay. There was something to do on a Sunday afternoon. We could have visited the Wonder Tower, but Stephen was getting hungry and well ... we decided to feed him. Maybe next time.