Throwing Stones

Christ once said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” You might know that this was said in the context of a bunch of folks planning to stone a woman caught in adultery. That’s a pretty heinous sin, and stoning, I believe, was the standard penalty for this type of thing at the time.

But Jesus stopped the stoning and in so doing taught a higher and very important law.

I love the message that Jesus taught with this simple statement. I think that if anyone honestly considers this statement, that person will find reason to be more humble and examine his or her motivations and heart.

Even more than that, I believe that Jesus was also pointing out that we should be purifying our hearts and motivations. That we, the children of God, are supposed to be striving for something higher, something purer. That if we allow ourselves to become complacent in our worship, study, relationships, behavior, and obedience to commandments and covenants– we are failing ourselves, our fellow man, and our God.

But that’s not all!

As I think more about this idea, I find myself making a connection to the principle of individual responsibility. Because I am ultimately responsible for my actions in this excellent life. I am responsible for honing my heart. If I am not doing what I should be doing to the best of my ability, or am doing things I should not be, no matter my past  and no matter my circumstances– I am responsible for myself and what I do. In fact, I think it’s dangerous when those who are not a god try to take responsibility for the actions of someone else.

What this pondering has lead me to is several walks during breaks while at work. During those walks I have had conversations with myself about just what exactly is at my core. What makes me who I am and what it is in this life that is really important to me. I’ve done this because I am selfish and only focused on myself.

The truth is that I am bothered by how my motivation for my writing lags far too often. Then there are times I wish I could get out of my cubicle and write all day.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be truly settled into a groove, and maybe that’s a good thing. But I’ve come up with a list of what is most important to me. These things will never change.

In order:

Covenants

My wife, Hotness

6 delightful children

Telling good stories

These are the things I can not live a life of joy without. If any single one of these things were taken from me, there would be a vast absence, a gaping maw of hunger inside me that could not be filled without having that thing back.

All this to say that I will take this day, and every day, to renew my commitment to these four core treasures– these treasures that define me. I will not turn my judgement outward, I will judge myself and, if I need to, I will toss a couple stones my way to remind me what it is I’m trying to accomplish in life. Call them the stones of dreams.

How about you? What’s at your core? What, if it were taken from you, would leave an unfillable chasm inside you?

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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