On the weekend just gone, Sheri and I took our kids out to Girraween National Park. If you haven’t been there…you should go. Just saying.
Girraween is just out past Stanthorpe in what is known as the Granite Belt. And it’s known as the granite belt for a good reason – it’s a giant playground of granite boulders of varying sizes.
Some of the boulders are small enough that you can lift, or sit on them. Some are the size of your car, or your house, or some are literally whole mountains made of granite. It’s an incredible place to explore and enjoy. And not even some rain on Saturday ruined the weekend for us as we played and wandered.
One of the incredible features of Girraween are the ways these boulders are piled up, or balanced upon one another.
Take this one, for example. It’s called Granite Arch. Kind of a natural Stonehenge looking feature, with the capstone balanced on the lower two. Amazing.
Nearby are a couple of mountain-sized lumps of rock called “The Pyramids.” The first one is walkable, the second is technically off limits. They’re incredible to look at, and even more so to explore.
High up on the first pyramid, the one you can climb by following a marked path, is a boulder generally known as “Balancing Rock”. See if you can guess why when you look at the photo below.
The kids, along with some friends, joined the long, long, long list of people who’ve tried and failed to topple this rock from its perch.
It’s perfectly balanced, standing on its end, on top of a mountain. And as I stood and looked at it, I couldn’t help wondering what probably everybody else who’s made the climb thinks: “How does it stand there?” It’s centre of gravity must be just right, and the fact that it is perched on a firm foundation keeps it there, through rain, hail, wind and the attempts of 12 year old kids. It’s been there day after day, year after year, decade after decade, probably century after century. This rock is balanced, perfectly.
The challenge to visiting Balancing Rock, of course, is climbing up, and then back down this mountain-sized monolith to see it. On this journey up and down the steep slab-sided pyramid it’s a case of the balancing person. Keeping a firm footing, a balanced centre of gravit, avoiding obstacles or damp patches, and keeping focused on the path ahead are the key. Balance matters to us as climbers, just as much as it does to the rock that stands. Balance matters as much when we are in motion, when we are living life actively, as it does when we are just trying to stand firm.
Balance, centre of gravity, firm foundations: these things matter not just to rocks. But to people, to communities, to you and I.
As I walked I wondered what it means to be balanced in life as while walking, as while being a rock standing on top of a mountain. What does it means to be on firm footing?
For me one of the things that means is that I wonder what the story of Jesus has to say into that space (for you it might be something totally different). Jesus on multiple occasions talked about rocks, balance and firm foundations. He used a metaphor about the value in building our house (our life) on rock, not on sand. He talked about building his church on a rock. He talked about the importance to balance in life of seeking God’s kingdom first – that other things will take care of themselves.
Balance. Firm foundations. Rocks.
Where does balance come from in my life? Where are firm foundations found? What does it look like when everything is in balance? Is it all in balance right now? If not, what’s missing?
Those are the questions I’ve been pondering this week. Maybe they’re of interest to you too.