Thursday, July 06, 2006

Here I Raise My Ebenezer. Why?

At a recent Bible Study, the group got off track a bit (surprise, surprise) and started talking about the idea of memorials or "Joshua Stones" (Joshua 4:1-9). Now, I understand the idea of memorials, and they are God-dictated, but I'm at a loss as to their purpose. Everything is temporary, even memorials. Even for those that might still be standing to this day, their purpose is not even remembered. The people to whom they meant anything are long gone.

I've gone to garage sales and auctions where people's scrapbooks, photo albums, and even wedding dresses wind up in dumpsters. Even if there was family remaining, they obviously didn't find any meaning in these items. And that's not really wrong, is it? Those items are only things.

In my own life, people, places and things I hold dear are either dead or dying, succumbing to old age and decay. My employer of 21 years went bankrupt and closed. Two churches that I've attended in the past 25 years no longer exist. My high school and grade school no longer exist. And the hospital where I was born went bankrupt, closed, and has been razed to the ground. Even the house where I grew up and my father still lives is falling down around him. When he leaves or dies, it will most likely be leveled.

Besides, even if all these things and others were still around, there is no next generation following me. There are no children asking "what do these stones mean to you?". At 45 years old, no marriage prospects and therefore no child prospects, I ask - Why? What is the purpose in my life for stones that crumble and altars that rot?

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