My Stone

Nie mój cyrk, nie moja malpa. Not my circus, not my monkey. I’ve heard that this is a Polish maxim, but when I was living in Poland, I never heard it that way. I usually just heard nie moja sprawa.

The monkey line was whimsical and made me chuckle, but I could never remember it at the right time.

A couple weeks ago, I was at a women’s retreat and it was a wonderful time of fellowship and refreshment, everything a retreat should be. As a parallel to the décor of ferns, water fountains, moss, and stones, there was a basket of small stones at the registration table. Every one was supposed to choose a stone and was instructed to carry it with them all the time.

Then someone read the story of the man whom God asked to carry some stones to the top of the hill. On the way, other people asked him to take their stone, and in his good nature, the man accepted. The load got so heavy, he started blaming God for asking so much of him. But God reminded him that He never asked him to take on all the extra stones.

In the retreat, some of us were told to plant stones surreptitiously  in people’s bags and laps, to see what the women would do when they discovered more than their own pebble. Unfortunately, I was socializing too much and didn’t drop any stones anywhere. But one busy bee was planting them everywhere. She was sitting beside me in one workshop and afterwards we had this serious conversation, but when I turned my back, there was a hot pebble under my Bible, and the lady was gone. The pebble was warmed all through, holding its heat from being clenched in her hand, waiting for the right moment. The turkey!

She may or may not have had several handfuls of pebbles mysteriously scattered between her pillow case, sheets, and blanket that night. As always, the laughs are the best part of being together.

A couple days after the retreat, I heard bad news from several places, and it all wanted to paralyze me. Then I thought, No, that’s not my stone to carry.

I care deeply, will listen, pray, stay alert, but put it down. It’s not my stone. There was an extra stone in my bag when I came home, and I pitched it. I took the original one I chose from the basket, wrote my assignment on it with white-out pen, and put it on my desk.

This is my stone, the biggest current assignment that God is ever so gently but persistently asking me to carry. I don’t have room right now to carry any others.

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12 thoughts on “My Stone

  1. THANK YOU for sharing this! Makes me think of the time I was at a seminar. The leader had us turns our empty palms upward to God, and then ask Him, “What am I carrying that You want me to give to You?” That was a pivotal moment in my life. It’s made a world of difference in the way I listen to others and help them in their journey. I listen, but then I consciously give them to GOD and refuse to carry them day in and day out!

  2. O wow! Very well written! It’s a good reminder for me (when I’m feeling weighted down) to ask myself if I am carrying more than “my stones”. Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing my dear Anita!!! I also had been given three stones laid on top of my Bible. I put them back in the basket at the registration table. But I have held onto my original stone. it is smooth, yet has a jagged edge with a chip taken out. It reminds me of the work God had to do in my life. I had to be broken, and a chip needed to be taken out of me so I could heal properly. I cherish that stone now and it is a constant reminder that my Lord needs to work on my heart, just as an artist needs to chisel away excess stone to reveal the beauty lying hidden underneath. It was such a joy to see you again!!!! May the Lord bless you always and remember, I am your biggest cheerleader. Love you lots my sweet sister and friend.

  4. I also have my original stone. I like how you were able to summarize your assignment to fit the stone. It encourages me to think a little more deeply on how to break my own down into a few words!
    Blessings!

  5. As soon as I saw the title of this post, I knew I was going to like it. 🙂 My wordless stone is sitting on my dresser where it daily speaks to me 🙂 So happy to have this memory with you.

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