Ten years, almost to the day. We stood at Bonehill Rocks on Dartmoor in glorious autumn sunshine, saying a fond farewell to a favourite place.
Granite monoliths are all over the moor: granite forced up through the softer rocks by immense forces, almost unchanging, staying the same for centuries. What is ten years to a hulking Tor? If we went back tomorrow, we might not notice any change- except perhaps in the way the bracken grows round the solid stones. A bit more soil will have washed away from round the rock. That’s all.
Ten years! Seems like no time at all… but so much has been packed in to that short time. We moved from Devon to Luton, leaving one church and our friends, and finding new friends in the new church. Then after seven years, moving again to Sussex. Leaving friends is hard… making new ones is a privilege and a cause for rejoicing.
Juliet has graduated from pre-school children to secondary school students, via a period at a private school. Who’d have thought that would happen!
We’ve had to say the “long good-bye” to dear family and friends whose lives have ended, leaving memories with laughter and tears.
Our personal circumstances have changed, and health issues came unexpectedly to knock us sideways. With all those changes, we have started to build a new life and begin again to make friends and find ways of serving Jesus Christ in the church and community here. So much change! And that’s even before talking about pandemics, political upheavals, and the rise of tensions across the globe.
Ten years. Plenty of fun, much joy, sorrows and celebrations. Hair has changed colour (mine, anyway) and there are more laughter-lines. In it all, so much to be thankful for, so much to look forward to.
Those rocks on Dartmoor haven’t even noticed.
A verse from the Old Testament compares God to the rock of the Earth. Solid, dependable, faithful, unchanging, strong and yet compassionate.
Deuteronomy 32:4 (NLT) “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” A perfectly solid foundation.
Ten years… a blink in the eye of Eternity.
The “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee” as the old hymn puts it… Augustus Toplady, taking refuge from a storm in Cheddar Gorge, penned the words that speak of putting our trust in the right place: the right Person.
In a world where even rocks can be eroded or shattered, the Rock stands secure. My hope is founded in building life on “the Rock that doesn’t roll”… and who, instead, rolled away the Stone from the Tomb and shouted “Resurrection!” to the Universe.
What is ten years… or a lifetime… when set against Eternal Love and Everlasting Grace?