Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Rock

I remember this story from several years ago.

There was a man who lived alone on a mountain. Outside his cabin, there was a very large and heavy rock.

God spoke to the man and said: "Every morning, for 1 hour each day, I want you to push with all your strength against this rock.

The man, being faithful, agreed and for several weeks, he strained at pushing the rock, but the rock would not move.

One day, Satan spied the man pushing the rock and came to him while pushing and said:
"Why do you push against the rock?"

"Because God told me to" the man said.

"Why?" Satan asked. "You will never move it. You can't possibly succeed. All you are doing is waisting your time pushing against something that you can never move. You could even hurt yourself if you push too hard."

The man thought for a bit and said: "You know? You're right." He continued to push each day, but pushed with less force than before. One day, he stopped pushing.

God came to the man and asked why he stopped pushing. "Because I'll never move the rock. I might even hurt myself if I continue to push with all my strength.

God said to the man: "I never asked you to move the rock. I asked you to push against it. Now your arms and legs are stronger than ever before. Your back is fit for the work I prepared for you. You have made yourself less useful because you didn't push against the rock. Push hard for a little longer and you will be ready for the work I am to give you."

I hope you see the parallel between this story and the present situation in the ECUSA. Those of us on the "conservative" or reasserter or traditionalist side of the issue are getting tired of pushing against the rock that is the wayward ECUSA. We fear that we will never be successful. That is not our call. We are called to be faithful and to continue to witness to the Truth concerning Biblical Authority and the traditional expression of Anglicanism.

Phil Snyder


plsdeacon said...

I invite your comments on this story and its application to our situation at the ECUSA

aterry said...

Great thoughts and a strong reminder to persevere in our faithfulness. The situation does beg a question though.
At what point to we say "enough"? We reasserters are pushing against an institution which has not only failed to acknowledge and repent of their error, They've in essence, "Flipped the Bird" to those who sought their repentance.
Something to ponder..


Chip Johnson+, cj said...


As deacon to deacon, isn't this what the deacon's role is? To push against the rock? Sometimes the rock is our senior clergy, sometimes the senior warden, sometimes the organist,
sometimes the dreaded clock,
sometimes...even the bishop.

But, push on we will and do, because we are the 'pushers'.

Great illustration, contrary to some of the comments on T19. Thaks for bringing it back to our attention, in a new context.


Chip Johnson+, cj said...


I forgot which blog directed me here...Stand Firm. Sorry Kendall and elvenfolk! mea culpa.

Allen Lewis said...

A good story to remind us of something that we too often forget: God calls us to be faithful not to be successful!

But I do have a question: In light of Jesus' instructions in Matthew 10:14 and parallels - "And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave..." - does there not come a time when we should stop wasting our efforts and move on down the road where our ministry might be better received?

Gillian said...

What we're all missing is the point that God tells us to do what He tells us to do for HIS reasons, and the obedient thing is to keep on keepin' on. Satan tried to undermine God's efforts by second-guessing - who said God wanted the guy to move the rock? Let's not let Satan undermine us - just keep pushing the rock if that is what God says to do. It is HIS business what the results of the rock-pushing will be!

plsdeacon said...

Andy & Allen,

When do we say enough? When do we shake the dust off of our sandals and leave because people won't listen to us? I'm not sure. I do know that if I shook the dust off of my sandals at everyone who didn't listen to me, I would be a very lonely person. Following Matt 10:14 is a very quick way to a Church of One. We need to practice discernment to determine if a directive is meant for the apostles in a specific place and time or if it is meant for the whole Church.

I don't know if the ECUSA can be "rescued." I do know that I cannot do it and that God can. I do know that I must not fight with my strength, but with God's strength and His wisdom and by the power of His grace.

Where does the strength come from to push against the rock to begin with? It comes from God.

To answer your question, I am going to be faithful to my call to be God's servant and His minister to be a bridge between the Church and the world and to show forth the Joy that comes from obedience to God and to His Church.

Phil Snyder

Weiwen Ng said...

Here's an alternative. Those you call the progressives have been pushing for decades, asking for equal treatment for the LGBT community. The rock is starting to move, little by little. Perhaps we're called to keep pushing. Perhaps it isn't TEC that needs to be "rescued." Metaphors cut both ways, Phil.