Solidly sinking sand

“On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand”

It’s a traditional hymn, as least for someone growing up in Southern Baptist church. But lately I’ve been understanding the meaning in a whole different way.

See, I’ve been working a lot in the past week on being prayerfully present, staying in touch with God as often as I can to keep my focus on the way I can minister in that moment, the things He means for me to be doing by placing me where I am, as first mentioned here. Mostly it ends up about being there for the children or for the family in general. That’s not to say that I’m putting myself on the back burner. It’s just that I believe God placed me in the honored and fortunate position of stay-at-home-mom mostly to take care of those around me. By raising good, Godly children, I can minister far beyond my own reach.

But it’s a funny thing, this prayerfully present business. I feel like I’m there, and then I’m not. A moment passes, my focus slips, and that sand slides out from beneath me. I struggle again to the top of the hill–to that little peak of Solid Rock I see above me–and attain it for a second. Then the process starts all over again. It’s like climbing a sand dune, a very steep sand dune, always shifting under my feet.

The other thing: I always thought of the sinking sand as quicksand, dragging me underneath. But in this analogy, the one where the sand is sinking but only from underneath my feet, there’s a giant pillowy area of sinking sand at the bottom. Imagine instead of not climbing, of sliding down that hill and laying sprawled out in the cushiony comfort all that sinking sand provides. The sun is warm, the sand is soft, the struggle is over.

I’ve never been so tempted by sinking sand.

But as I keep climbing, do I start to clear away the sand? Is the rock ever bigger, so that I can get my feet on it and rest? I know there will never really be rest, not until heaven, but I also like to think that this prayerfully present thing will someday become a habit, and in being a habit will become less like a constant struggle and more like, oh, a balancing act. Not that I think a balancing act is easy, but right now, it sounds a whole lot more appealing than the slipping sand dune.

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