After a recent sermon where Apostle David was talking about monuments we build in our lives, and I got to thinking about the first monument I built in mine. It was a rocking chair! When I was about four, I begged my Mama for months to buy me a rocking chair just like Grandma’s. There wasn’t anything very special about Grandma’s rocking chair, other than the fact that it was Grandma’s! Grandma was the WOMAN! She was the BOSS, APPLESAUCE, plus a bag of chips! It didn’t matter what Grandma did during the day, whether it was working 40 long hours at Days Inn or chasing disrespectful people out of the front yard with her beloved butcher’s knife that she hid in her purse, she always looked forward to sitting in her chair. When she was sitting in her rocking chair, NOBODY messed with her. (I made sure I didn’t breathe too loudly!) Grandma was an absolutely beautiful, strong woman peacefully watching over her household with courage and heart. THAT WAS EXACTLY WHO I WANTED TO BE! I had to have a rocking to chair to be brave and strong like Grandma.
Well, when Grandma decided to buy a rocking chair for each of my sisters and me, I was on top of the world! I ruled over all of my baby dolls and chased all of the mean monsters under my bed out of our yard with my “butcher’s knife” (relax… it was just a straw). I wanted to stay in my chair all the time, but you know I had to go to school. So after long hours of writing my ABC’s and counting endless amounts of fruit loops and pretzel sticks, I went home and sat in my rocking chair… right beside Grandma. That place next to Grandma was the place where I learned what unconditional love actually was. So I sat in that rocking chair for many years, ruling our house next to Grandma.
After eight years, Grandma moved to a place of her own, but I still sat in that chair. Can you imagine a 12 year-old Middle School girl sitting in a baby’s rocking chair?! I didn’t want to get out of that chair, but there finally came the day when Mama said the words I had dreaded: “IT’S TIME TO GIVE YOUR ROCKING CHAIR AWAY TO YOUR BROTHERS! YOU ARE TOO OLD TO BE SITTING IN THAT CHAIR!”
Oh, I cried and cried. With little brothers who were 5, 6, and 8, I knew my chair was headed for demolition. Indeed, in almost one week’s time, my beloved rocking chair had turned into a pile of fine wood. I used duct tape, Elmer’s glue and lots of prayers and kisses in an attempt to fix my chair, but they all failed miserably. What was I going to do? Everything I had learned was now being burned in Grandpa’s trash can fire, gone forever… or was it?
Too many times, we build monuments and memorials of our victories and triumphs. That is absolutely great since what we don’t celebrate will go away. We need to celebrate them, but what’s next? What comes after you’ve spent years building that beautiful monument to strength and victory? After attaining victory, WHAT’S NEXT? I didn’t know how to move on from that place next to Grandma… I didn’t know how to keep gaining victory over all those monsters in my life without that chair.
After years of staying the same place and being stagnant, I finally learned that I could use the victories I had attained in some areas in other parts of my life as well. I can use the same strength and peace from Grandma’s rocker and apply it to the battles of conflicted family relationships and forgiving myself for past failures. Even though the memorial I was leaning on may have been burned a long time ago, I CAN STILL ATTAIN VICTORY! Memorials were never meant for me to stay there and camp out, but they’re made for me to learn and to grow.
WHAT MEMORALS HAVE YOU BUILT? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THERE? DID YOU LEARN YOUR LESSONS? HAVE YOU APPLIED THEM TO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?