Monday, July 23, 2007

The Rattleback Stone

One of the gifts we bought for my youngest granddaughter’s birthday this week-end was a couple of Rattleback stones – man-made imitations .
They are quite fascinating.

They were first found in many of the Egyptian tombs and were believed to have come from the Nile River.
They are long and narrow as you can see in the photo, flat on top and curved underneath- like a cucumber pickle cut in half.
If any movement rocks the Rattleback stone it begins to spin counter clockwise.
If you spin the Rattleback stone counter clockwise it just keeps on spinning.
But the Rattleback stone is known for its unusual characteristic.
If you spin the stone clockwise, it begins to wobble, stop, then begin spinning in the opposite direction – counter clockwise!

It remained a mystery as to why the stone did this until 1986 when G.T. Walker discovered the secret.
A very simplified explanation is that curved sides of the stone are not even, one side has a slightly longer curve than the other.

God has placed so many ‘pictures’ in His creation that can be used for spiritual object lessons.
In thinking about the Rattleback stone in church this morning, I realized that it teaches us an interesting lesson!

We are all like a Rattleback stone.
“All we like sheep have gone astray…We have turned (spun) everyone to his own way…..” (Is. 53:6)
Our human flesh has a natural curve to it that turns us away from God, that leans us toward spinning counter God-wise.

As believers, the Spirit of God works in our lives, reshaping us so that we can spin in a God-direction.
As long as we obey Prov. 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding (curve)…” we stay ‘centered’ on Christ and our sinful curve has no rule over us.

But it does not take much ….. one fault, one weakness that we nurture and are reluctant to give up, will upset the curve of our balance…. will make us wobble, stop and begin to ‘spin’ in the wrong direction.

Just like the Rattleback stone, we find it easy to follow our natural inclinations. It takes no effort on our part to gratify our selfish desires.
It is only when we remain vigilant, when we trust in the power of the Spirit living within us that we have victory in our Christian walk. “…if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live…for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God!”
(Rom. 8:13,14)

The next time you are tempted to compromise, to take the easy way out, to give in to that attitude or selfish thought….remember the Rattleback stone and how easy it is to wobble and begin to spin in the wrong direction - away from God.


Lovella said...

such a great example Julie.
This weekend our message was on David and his poor judgement of not going to war with the other kinds, and the natural inclination that followed and ultimately caused him to sin. God provides us with sooo many opportunities to choose right . .oh that I would be vigilant in paying attention.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I wish I knew a place to get man made rattleback stones. I'd give them as gifts with your comments, along with a Bible.
What a fantastic object lesson, and memory jogger about how things so easily go amiss when we pursue the wrong bent.
Thanks for your encouragement about the pictures Julie. It was a just what I needed!

Lovella said...

other kings . .oh boy.