Some fathers get their kids video games for Christmas. Some get them fancy dolls that blink, and cry, wet their pants, or dance and sing. Some get iPods, remote control cars, or some other gizmo of instant gratification.
What did this dad get his kids?
A rock tumbler. That’s right, a rock tumbler: a motor, a cylindrical container, some grit, some polish, and a bunch of scraggly rocks; four days of tumbling rocks with course grit, fourteen days more with fine grit, and another seven with polish– twenty-five days of waiting for the payoff. For Christmas, my kids got the gift of patience.
Don’t worry, we got them some instant gratification too.
But Christmas is the celebration of the Rock of our Salvation: Jesus Christ.
I have good memories, and gained valuable experiences from the rock tumbler I had as a kid. Not only does it teach patience, but it provides lessons in finding and bringing out the beauty from the plain, and facilitates a host of important Gospel analogies. It provides perspective.
We set up the tumbler in a far off corner of the house where the constant sound will be isolated, prepared the stones, and started it up. Only after it was running did I notice the book sitting on the shelf next to the tumbler, serendipitously I promise, and had to take a picture.