Monday, June 23, 2008

All Rock is not Created Equal. . .

Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic. . .

When I was a boy, really for most of my youth I had a passion to be either a geologist or a paleontologist (a person who studies fossils). I grew up near an old gravel pit. . . hog nose snakes, toads, frogs and tadpoles galore, cliff swallows, opossums, salamanders. . .baby birds, nests of blind hairless mice and precious small rabbits. . .That was my classroom. The sun. . .the wind. . .all of God's creation was my teacher. I loved studying there. I loved rocks. I was fascinated by them, by the stories they told. They were the ballast of my youth. I spent youthful ages of time hunting for fossils, brachiopods, crinoid stems, compound corals, anemones. . . geodes. . .I had my own little excavation in a nearby peat bog, where I spent many days digging and looking for ancient species of snails, their shells preserved in the boggy soil. I romanticized myself on some important paleontological dig. . .Digging away in the hot sun, alone in a swamp, observing, sorting, and placing into collection my fascinatingly old snail shells. . .happy doing what I was doing, contented beyond words. . .OK, I'm a bit different. . .My Dad and I polished rocks in a tumbler. I was a member of the Elkhart Mineralogical Society. A couple of times we took trips to rock quarrys looking for trilobite fossils. That phase of my life passed, but I learned much about rocks.

For two weeks I've been pondering and meditating on one of the parables of Jesus:

Matthew 7:24-27
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


I started to wonder what kind of rock was it, that this wise man built his house upon? The more I thought about this question the more interesting the question became to me. All rocks are not the same. All rocks are not created equal. Rocks fall into one of three different types . . .

Igneous
This is original rock, the primal rock that the earth was first created from. This is the rock of Genesis 1:

Genesis 1:6
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

The rock of the original firmament was igneous rock. This is the starting point. . . basalt, pumice, obsidian, and granite are examples of igneous rock. This form of rock divides the liquid water of our external oceans from the liquid, molten core of the earth. It divides the liquid from the liquid. . . it divides the waters from the waters. . .Lava when it is birthed from the interior of the earth and cools, it freezes from a flowing liquid fire, it changes phase into a crystalline solid and becomes igneous rock. Every other type of rock started as this original firmament. The differences between the different types of this rock are due to local variations of chemical makeup and differing cooling rates. . .In the beginning was igneous rock.

Sedimentary
This form of rock is composed of other types of rock which have weathered. This is rock which water has acted upon, it is born of the action of the water and has thereby been worn into small pieces. This is rock one step removed from sand. In fact in the case of sandstone, you can easily erode it away with your fingernail. The mere force of a fingernail is required to send it back to its origins. Shale, limestone, siltstone, chalk, and the previously mentioned sandstone are a few of the types of sedimentary rocks. The weight of time has acted upon sediments which were laid down by the action of water. These are rocks with history, rocks with the past an inherent part of them. The past is written in their layers. . . still identifiable. . . the transformation incomplete for the lack of fire. . .All fossils, the dead remains of once living plants and animals are found in this type of rock. This rock is weak. It easily erodes, splits and fragments along the plane of its laying down. Age and weight go into making sedimentary rock, but little in the way of heat.

Metamorphic
This is rock that has been transformed, born by fire. . .It may have started as igneous or sedimentary rock, but it has been to the surface. It has been weathered. It has seen the sun and has then again been submerged and subjected to the heat and fire that originally spawned it. Both igneous and sedimentary rocks can become metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rock is strong. The heat always strengthening, renewing. . . With the transforming fire, soft sedimentary shale turns to durable slate. . .lowly and perishable sandstone is rebirthed as quartzite. . .the common limestone turns to exquisite marble. . . The transformation goes very deep. This heat forges a new material from old elements. Lines of history and fossils are not found in metamorphic rock. The heat burns away all trace of what has gone before. Through this transformation of fire, it has a new identity, a new name. . . the old things are passed away. . . all is made new. . .

What type of rock did the man build his house upon? Was it basalt, the deep permanence of the very mountains?. . .The root of all else. . .Was it chalk? . . a siltstone?. . . or a sandstone? All these prone to fracture and quick erosion. . .or did he choose as his foundation, a base of noble marble. . .transformed, transfigured. . .reborn by fire. . .

Thank you for my transformation my God. . .
Thank you for the fire my Lord. . .

I love you my God. . .
I love you all. . .

Dave

No comments: