Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. – Isaiah 51:1 (NRSVUE)
Ah, that New Year desire to do more, do different, do better, do something bold and new! I’m wicked good at coming up with such resolutions, but I’m comically bad at following through. Extending grace to myself, I recognize a truth: Yes, I can grow, change, and learn. I can build up more. And there’s nothing wrong with who and how I am at my foundation. Maybe I need to get back to that?
What if everything we want to be and become already exists at our foundation? What if the annual longing for a “new you” is more a desire to sweep away the accumulated rubble and debris from the past 365 days? Maybe the impulse for change can be an invitation to foundation contemplation.
Our foundations get obscured by stuff piled on top of them: things like expectations, shame, pressure to conform or change. Clear all that off before you pile on more, then polish the stone and meditate on the reflection. Homogenous at first glance, look again and notice the aggregate bits. Strata, striations, mineral flecks, inclusions, even fossils: your values, gifts, culture, experience, history combine to form a rock-solid foundation.
All that you are, all who you are was lovingly quarried and carefully hewn. Remove the fragmented detritus, and witness your beautiful wholeness. And if you still want to build after that, now at least your foundation is clear.
Swap my hammer and chisel for a broom and duster, Divine Stoneworker. Help me get back to my foundation. Amen.
Chris Mereschuk is an Unsettled Pastor in the Southern New England Conference with a call to transitional ministry.