The Boulders in the Yard

Grant went into his yard on a Saturday, work gloves and lever in hand, to start changing the landscaping around his house. He had several small, gray boulders two to three feet across that he wanted to move to a different location. He tugged on the gloves, set one end of the lever into the ground against a rock, and pried at it.

After some pushing and pulling on the lever, Grant had the first rock loosened from the dirt around it. He jabbed the lever underneath, set his feet, and pulled at the rock. It tipped slightly but didn’t roll over like he wanted. Grant heaved and yanked at it and succeeded only in budging it another inch and breaking a sweat.

A pickup truck rumbled down the street, pulling a flatbed trailer with a mini-excavator. It stopped at his neighbor’s house. Grant stood and watched as his neighbor, Preston, got in the excavator and drove it off the trailer and onto his driveway. He caught sight of Grant, and they waved to each other.

Grant labored at the first stone for a while longer and managed to roll it a few feet. He stood up and wiped the sweat from his forehead. As he did so, Preston walked over to the bushes along the property line and called, “Hey, neighbor! Do you want a hand?”

“No, I’m great,” Grant called back. Preston had his own yardwork to do. “Thanks, though!”

He worked at the first boulder a while longer, puffing in and out as he shoved at it repeatedly to keep the momentum going. When he got it in its new place, he checked his watch. Almost noon already. At this rate, it would take him the rest of the day and another Saturday to move the rest. If he could even tackle another. He arched his back and let out a grunt. He wasn’t sure his back could take any more today.

“Grant!” Preston hollered. “That looks like a lot of work. How about I drive the excavator over here after lunch and we get the rest of those moved?”

Grant looked at Preston. He looked down at the rock. He felt the aches in his back and legs. A drop of sweat ran down his nose, and he scrubbed at it. Preston was renting the excavator, so any time he spent using it over here meant less time to use it in his yard, or having to rent it later in the day and pay more.

But he had offered. And Grant looked back over his shoulder at the row of waiting stones. He could imagine them daring him to try moving them.

“Sure, let’s do that,” he said to Preston.

After lunch, Grant found that his neighbor had already driven the excavator over. They tied some straps around one of the boulders and then tied the other end around one of the teeth on the excavator’s bucket. Preston maneuvered the machine around and deposited the rock where Grant directed. Then they repeated the process until all the rocks had been relocated.

“Thanks,” said Grant, wiping his forehead again. “You’re a lifesaver.”

“Everything’s easier when you have the right kind of power on your side,” answered Preston. “Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help when you need it”—he patted the side of the excavator—”especially if this can do all the heavy lifting!”

Image by bluebudgie on Pixabay

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3 thoughts on “The Boulders in the Yard

  1. Maerhwyn 20 February 2022 / 9:27 am

    I’m so glad Grant didn’t refuse the help. It’s so frustrating when people do that! “I’m fine” is the most common lie we tell.


    • Ben Minson 20 February 2022 / 10:01 am

      There are certainly different ways this parable could have gone. Jesus sometimes addressed different outcomes or varieties of people in the same parable, such as His para les of the sower and the talents. That works better in some parables than others … and in at least some of the parables I’ve written, I’ve chosen to put a positive spin on the story.


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