My thoughts (Tyler Connoley):
Yesterday, I talked about cairns as a metaphor for how God guides us in the paths we should follow. But there’s another biblical aspect of cairns that is illustrated in today’s Scripture.
For as long as there have been people and rocks, people have been making piles of rocks as markers. Sometimes these markers are to show others where a path is, and sometimes these markers are memorials. In biblical times, it was very common to create a pile of stones as a memorial to some great event. Then, every time anyone walked past those stones, he or she would be reminded of that event.
Often these memorial heaps also became places of prayer and contemplation. You find similar piles of stone in Tibet, another place where cairns are used to mark paths in the rocky terrain. Iron Knot Ranch, a Tibetan community near where I live, has beautiful cairns on its property, which always make me think of Jacob and his memorial at Galeed.
Once, when I had experienced a great spiritual turning point in my life, a good friend reminded me of this biblical practice of making memorial rock heaps. “You should find some tangible way of marking this event,” she said. “Like Jacob creating a mound of stones, you need something you can look at and be reminded.”
That was a time of becoming aware of my light in the world. So, I bought a small oil lamp, which now sits in my office. Every so often, I’ll notice that lamp and remember what God taught me that week. It’s a kind of cairn, marking the spiritual path I’ve walked.
Thought for the day: We all need to be reminded. At major turning points in your life, make yourself a tangible reminder of God’s presence in your life at that moment. It will be a cairn, marking your spiritual path.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.