Shaping Lives - MetroFamily Magazine
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Shaping Lives

by Kaye Wilson

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

I don’t know what it is, but some students seem not to be content unless they push the limits of authority.

Ask them to stand on two feet and they lift up one foot; make a rule about writing everything in cursive and they will ask you every time if they can print; tell them to quickly take out their things, and they intentionally dawdle. AAAGGGHHHH!!!

It’s oh-so- tempting to throw up your hands with these individuals rather than continuing to try to get them to do anything at all, because it takes so much effort! Is it really worth it?

As I wrote that I thought about an amazing and impressive French Cathedral. The Chartres Cathedral is over 800 years old. Not only has it weathered the forces of nature, but also the footsteps and handling of millions of tourists and worshippers over the years, the French Revolution, and several fires. It took nearly 100 years to build this mammoth structure, which is made of granite. Imagine how difficult it must have been for the stonemasons and craftsmen to cut the stone and transform it into a work of art! Many of these artisans began working on the project as youthful apprentices, and continued working on it until they died, as old men. Their entire life was one of careful chipping at recalcitrant stone in order to reveal the Word of God visually to all who would see it.

There is an obvious connection between the patience, strength, and diligence it took for these men to turn stone into such magnificence, and the qualities required to work with young, resistant human beings. The masons and craftsmen who chipped away at the granite of Chartres were working with a substance resistant to being formed. They continued in their efforts because they believed that what they were doing was of great significance; they were building a place of worship, a place for God’s name to be proclaimed, every stone of which would glorify Him in its careful and beautiful artistry and strength.

Our children are made of flesh and blood, but sometimes they seem to be as stubborn and resistant as granite. Often it seems as though we must take hammer and chisel to their will in order to shape them. We must be as patient as the stonemasons, whose whole lives were devoted to shaping only a few stones in the incredible edifice of a cathedral, because we are doing essentially the same thing—we are shaping lives, preparing them to take their place next to brothers and sisters similarly chiseled and shaped, strong and beautifully prepared to “glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

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