The Pocket

For those who read this column but don’t live here (Thank You), The Pocket is an accessible and much-loved wilderness area nearby. A creek is the centerpiece, bursting with high rocks and miniature waterfalls, and, at times, wide enough to almost be a river.

If you hike far enough there is Laurel Falls. Along the way there are remnants of a storied mining past. Civil War history is everywhere around this region, and The Pocket was part of it. I imagine soldiers hiding among the rocks and caves, trying to stay warm and calm their hunger.

The oldest grandkids are with us this week without their parents. Wonderful! Wilder, all boy at nearly seven, and Adeline, lovely and smart beyond words at nine years old, were in heaven as we strolled The Pocket. I would call our time a hike but there wasn’t anything rigorous about two kids stopping at every stone and outlook. Flatlanders from lower Georgian, they love The Pocket. Their favorite thing really isn’t the trail—they love getting into the creek.

I was reminded of several God-things as we ambled along and played.

First, about children: They are explorers and adventurers and creators. Why is it so many of us grow up to be inhibited, fearful, and addicted to trivial and dangerous things? Cheryl and I laughed openly—and held our breath—as we watched our grands respond to The Pocket. Wonder oozed with every giggle. Creativity came naturally to them as every little rock became a missile, every high rock a mountain to conquer.

It is said, “A baby boy has a way of making a man out of his father and a boy out of his grandfather.” Yes, I threw rocks, too, passionately, successfully ensuring the kids went home wet!

Jesus gave a high value to children. The simplicity of their faith and their joy in His presence touched Him—and He had harsh words for those who minimalized them. May children teach us to love Him unashamedly.

Back to the rocks. Unlimited and everywhere, Adeline and Wilder threw stones into the creek without stopping. No stone was safe from drowning. The noisy, stunning water is usually the first line of focus. To adults, rocks are mundane and expected. Not so to the kids!

But rocks illustrate important biblical truths. In the absence of genuine worship, Jesus noted in Luke 19, the stones will cry out. Peter said, “…you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” God wonderfully offers new life to those who receive His Son.

The big idea isn’t the rocks, The Pocket, or even the kids (as delightful as they are to brag about). The point is the One who made it all. May we adore Him all day, everywhere, every day!

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