Pointing The Way

Friday, August 20, 2004

Psalm 25:4-5 – Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long. (NIV)

I have a fascinating stone statue on my desk that catches my eye each time I use my computer. The figure isn't fancy, nor did it cost me a lot of money, but I keep it because it reminds me of a trip I took to the Yukon and Alaska the year my husband retired. During our travels, I collected several small stones, memories from the Klondike River, the gold panning streams, and the roadside picnic stops. Later, I formed them into an Inushuk, an Inuit word for a group of rocks arranged in the form of a human. According to the locals, native travellers traditionally arranged these stone sculptures in the form of a person. They left them in place as markers to indicate a safe passage for those who came behind them.

These shapes were never glued or cemented together. Yet they were able to withstand the storms because the person who constructed them had taken time to place the figure on a solid foundation. Amid a barren landscape without a soul in sight for hours at a time, the symbolic Inushuk stands to remind all who see it of our dependence on one another and the importance of maintaining strong relationships.

Perhaps the reason I haven't thrown out my simple sculpture is that it reminds me of how our lives are to be like these Inushuks. They should point the way for those who are searching to find their way in this world. Just as its creator paid careful attention to the relationship of each stone to one another so that the Inushuk would stay together, we too need to pay close attention to the relationships we are building with one another. Our relationships need to be properly balanced on the solid foundation of our faith in God. This way our "Inushuk" will remain standing after we are gone. The traces of our lives will indicate the safe passage and remind all who see them of our dependence on God's leading and the importance of a strong relationship with other travellers through this journey of life.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to build our lives on You, our sure foundation, so that we may point others in the right direction. Amen.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <authorhogg@yahoo.ca>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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