Friday, September 4, 2015

The Diamond Machine

These days, it seems easy to get caught under the weight of the world. Politics are crazy, economies are crazy and people in general are crazy. It's enough to squash anybody. That's the short version anyway, and God didn't promise any different. Worse than that, He said "stand up under it." Under it?! I'm more interested in the way OUT from under it most of the time. Seriously. What is He thinking?

Sticking with the short and oversimplified version, I'm gonna say diamonds. This is an analogy so please personalize everything. It takes the weight of the world to make them, literally (unless you're made in a lab, which can be equally traumatic). A hundred miles of earth piled on top of some carbon in the molten mantle of our planet presses it into those little gems we buy on special occasions or put into tooling to cut stuff that's too hard for anything else. They are also the best heat conductor in the world; i.e. taking the heat from something else that can't handle it. Call them treasure buried in a field... really deep. That is until their natural home, a somewhat turbulent environment in the first place, gets tired of carrying the weight of the world and decides it should ride on top for a while, an eruption. Ever been caught in one of those? Thought so. Most have. In general, it's how we got where we are. Less extreme versions of the same process form many other precious stones if you don't feel like being a diamond anymore. All this leads to the next point I'm going to stretch to reach.

Ever feel like a stranger here on the earth's surface? Some people really are going back underground these days. There is some justified speculation that diamonds are not as rare as they seem, but try telling that to the diamonds. They can be a bit hard headed, like Christ and the apostles who were willing to die for their cause. That's why they get used the way they do. It's encouraging to know you're not alone at least, even if our environment keeps us from seeing each other as much as we would like. And what do we see when do get together?
Most diamonds are opaque black because they are polluted with too many impurities to see through. And guess what it takes to purify them... that's right; more heat and pressure. Yep, I can relate to that one. Something about a plank in my own eye comes to mind. Not to worry though. Rough diamonds are no less useful as an abrasive (that comes naturally). And even if you remain a diamond in the rough, you're still one of the most durable substances in the world. It's never more than we can bare. It's the very thing that makes us. He'll put you through the pressure and the heat, but leave yourself in his hands and you might be surprised what you actually get used for.

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