As an American history teacher for eighteen years, any chance to visit historical sites sets my blood to racing. So on a vacation to Massachusetts, I couldn’t wait to visit Plymouth to see the infamous rock where sea-wearied Pilgrims disembarked in the New World. Approaching one of the prominent icons of America, signs flooded the streets pointing the direction to the solid symbol of dreams and sacrifice. Tourists meandered along the sidewalks reading plaques, snapping pictures, and pausing to peer toward the harbor in which the Mayflower beached on the shores of America. I did the same.
Anticipation engulfed me as I strolled toward the iron railing to view the stone that had been the focus of so many lessons I had taught to less-than-eager teenagers. I peered over the edge and there it was: a monument to a journey that helped lead to the birth and freedom of a new nation. My reaction differed from all the rest of the visor and t-shirt clad group surrounding me. While they marveled at the jutting, rather puny, boulder, I reflected with one word: Why? Not “why” in the sense of, why do we consider this a special place? Or, why do we honor the sacrifice of our forefathers? But why do we give such homage to the things of this world instead of honoring the amazing feats of our heavenly Father?
As I stared at the rock, I thought about how we as a country gravitate to this place and ponder the impact of the landing at this stone. I wondered, what if this was the pile of stones the Israelites planted in remembrance of God parting the Red Sea? What if this was the stone that had been rolled back from my Lord’s tomb? What if this was the rock that lay beneath Jacob’s head as he slumbered and dreamed? What if this was one of the pieces of the wall of Jericho that came tumbling down? If any of those testaments to the mighty movement of the hand of God resided on our shores, would we flock by the droves to stare and document it with pictures?
Although Plymouth Rock inspires us with sentiments of the love of our country, God’s milestones should arouse us to an overwhelming admiration and devotion to the King of Kings.
I thought about what my “Plymouth Rock” would be. What has God done in my life that merits a historical site surrounded by pillars and iron fencing so that others could witness history? What is my symbol of the miracles He has wrought in my life? I stood there for a long while citing my milestones. I remembered how He has covered me with His hand of protection, how He’s solved insurmountable problems, and how He’s healed me with His touch. How He established Arise Ministries from a seed of a dream to a full-fledged realization and how He moved mountains to allow me to relinquish my career in education and enter full-time ministry.
I should establish Jehovah’s National Park and fill it with mighty symbols and monuments of His majesty and power and then stand aside to watch millions flood to the historical site to marvel at the deeds He has done. Would you like to book a tour? Better yet, what’s your Plymouth Rock?
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. — Psalm 77:12
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/