Between a Rock and a Hard Place

12/07/11 | Posted by HughB

Have you ever found yourself asking, “Why don’t people get it? Isn’t it obvious? Why are they so dense?”


A couple of years ago our town council was given some money by a former headteacher and so they erected this rock on the mound in the middle of our estate. One recent Monday morning I was on the mound with a couple of friends when our conversation turned to the rock.
“It’ a gorilla,” I explained to them and was met by looks of utter incredulity. Even my reassuring, “Would I lie to you?” was quickly riposted with a “Yes, frequently” from both of them. So I tried to cajole them into standing in the right position so that they could see the shape of the gorilla but they were having none of it. In the end, they had me crouching beside the rock doing my best impersonation of a silverback but still to no avail. I had to conclude that they weren’t going to get it. Perhaps the sun was in the wrong position.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow… For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
(1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

While Paul is referring to how the Gospel was first brought to the Corinthians, his words and my experience with the rock seem to say something about every individual’s spiritual journey, however far along we are.

If we are to grow in our understanding of God, we need to hear his message through reading Scripture and listening to others expound it, but, like my friends, we also need to be in the right place, physically, emotionally and spiritually and then allow the Spirit of God to shine his light into our lives so that we might see how it speaks into our situation.

Jesus regularly withdrew to “a solitary place” so that he could commune with his Father. Where do we go that the Spirit might speak to us?

 A Gorilla?

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Paul’s Third Letter to the Corinthians:

Dear Corinthians. I’ve written to you twice now. But I’ve received no reply. I don’t know how you people do things in Corinth but where I come from, that’s a bit rude.

Yours Sincerely

Saint Paul

#1. By Spectrox War on August 04, 2011

Thanks for this, Hugh. Maybe I’m getting old, but I tend to find God in the silence these days, which means I have to go against the grain and turn off the telly and rip out my iPod speakers.

Would love to see your gorilla impression!

Spectrox War, your comment made me laugh out loud!


#2. By Andrew Wooding on August 04, 2011




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