Many moons ago I built a dry stone wall. To this day it appears it has always been there, accepting the many guests of weeds, flowers, voles, snakes, ants, and no doubt countless things not even noticed by we the people. ‘Nice wall’ some would say, but ha, if they only knew the rest of the story.
I wanted to use natural stone, cut on at least one side, each weighing between 30-80 lbs. so I could manage them, and the price had to be right…. I noticed an ad in a paper that read something like: ‘wall stone, natural, many shapes and sizes, best offer.’
This may work, and with a vision in view, I paid the fella a visit. He wanted contractors to build another wall, using formed stone, a ‘new look,’ so he wanted the old stone removed. The stone was shifting severely on both sides of his driveway, about 5 ft high, in various thicknesses and length; time, pressure, and a poor job of building led to its demise, but the odd shapes were perfect.
It would take a massive amount of labor to remove the estimated 20 tons, rent a truck, make a few trips, load on this end, unload on the other end, refuel, take the truck back, have my son follow me, it was no small amount of work I’m tellin ya.
He asked me if it would work and I said ‘yep.’ He then asked what my offer was, and in consideration of what I just explained, he was not amused at my offer and answer: ‘I’ll take the stone.’ Smiling, I gave him my number, and told him to call. He doubted he would.
Two weeks later, he phoned and told me mine was the ‘best’ offer. Of course it was. Who would pay for what it would take to remove each stone by hand, load, unload, sweat upon sweat, and work that which would make Alcatraz look like a siesta?
Which brings me to this. Weeds thrive in a garden with no effort while the sweat of man confirms the fruit of labor. The word of God tells us that by the sweat of our brow we would eat, putting a premium on the labor of man as a reminder of sin.
So the ‘criminal’ seeks the life of Riley by avoiding sweat, only to be engaged in a life of vice, avoiding what should be natural, and by trying to escape ‘work,’ ends up in many nefarious activities, which many times lead to things which lands him in prison, thus making him do that which he long tried to avoid: sweating on the rock pile working the chain gang.
Geez. Work is a great antidote for the sickness of laziness, for it clears the head of the garbage of idleness. Work comes in many flavors, you would think some would be inspired by the lowly squirrel who asks not for a free lunch.
Heard about the idle mind lately? Yeah, the idle mind has no room for a Creator, and works hard to cultivate a garden with the dirt of another owner, while taking all the credit for the flowers that grow from somebody elses water, and from somebody elses seeds.
Truly laziness of thought and opinion that is to be pitied, but compare this to the sweat it takes to erect walls of unbelief using the mortar of stubbornness. People should not work so hard making monuments to nowhere, as was in that resulting tower of Babel.
The astute and incomparable mind of Sir Robert Anderson observed that all men are at least one time ‘criminals’ and fellow travelers on the train of misfits, both by birth and practice, and he is careful to say as scripture asserts: ‘among the children of error there is no bond of unity save such as depends on common hostility to truth.’
Oh for a thousand tongues to say amen to this, as the train welcomes all passengers of unbelief. It does not matter if they are all enemies and hate each other as long as they are joined in opposition to that which probes the conscience, kind of like Herod and Pilate.
But this train filled with passengers who reject the work of God while carrying plastic briefcases of pretended truth, is the ultimate spitting in the face of He who bears long with the insolence of man, yeah, those of us who go our own way, blinded to the beautiful garden that is inches away.
In light of Eden, rebellion and deception, Adam, Eve, sin and death, sweat, weeds, and labor, there was One who sweat as it were great drops of blood. Sweat represents work rather candidly, and in this singular instance, this ‘work’ soon to be accomplished no one else could do. Yeah, it took a mans man to accomplish THAT which was to be forever finished. It’s all in the book.
The stone wall will crumble, men will sweat, others will run from sweat, but the word of God abides for ever, pointing to he who owns all the vaults of all truth. THEY will not crumble.
—And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald—