A Vision Requiring Demolition

I had the good fortune of being invited to South Dakota to speak. My dear friend Amanda, who used to be on my leadership team in Knoxville, had returned home to her roots. Once there, she wanted to bring the Unhindered message to the women of her area so she set that ball in motion.  Of course, since Mt. Rushmore was on my bucket list, I was doubly delighted to agree to come.

As usual, things are not as they appear. We arrived at the national monument and what I thought was casual “down time” on Friday morning before I taught that night, turned out to be a major “download.” He is so funny.  Here is part one.

The sight of this huge mountain that has been polished and shaped by human hands is impressive, confounding and awe-inspiring. You don’t really get the magnitude of the project until you stand at the base of it. And then comes the story behind the work of art.

A man named Doane Robinson had a vision of transformation. He looked for a sculptor who could bring it to life. At the age of 58, Gutzon Borglum took on the great task of changing  this portion of the Black Hills into a breath-taking phenomenon.


When most people are thinking about retirement and kicking back, the man took on a project so huge that it took his son and 400 men to complete it. But my first “Ah-ha” moment was looking at the pile of rubble at the mountain’s feet. Dynamite, chisels, jack hammers, all tools in the hands of craftsmen, were used to remove whatever was necessary to bring the faces to life. No one notices the broken pieces of mountain debris heaped up. No one hears the explosions or sees the blasting away of excess rock. The process is over. But the outcome is lasting and astounding. 

Wouldn’t it be absurd if bystanders intervened and said, “The noise is too much, please stop.” Or, “You might hurt the mountain, we will settle for half a face of Jefferson.”  Or even, “It is taking too long, why not go ahead a quit?” Ridiculous.

The vision was worth the risk and effort. How much more worth it is your transformation to God? When we see you for who you really are, we will be so thankful that the Holy Spirit did not listen when you or others said, “too much effort required,” “too much money,” “too late to make changes.”

You are God’s masterpiece. He loves working to bring out of the rock the Beauty of You. In the end, no one will see the rubble at your feet, only the glory of God in your face.

Face Toward the Sun

Did you know that sunflowers follow the sun all day long? Their faces follow the pattern of the sun across the sky. If you have seen a field of them, like the one on highway 321 in Friendsville, it looks like the sun has dripped across the field leaving little puddles of sunlight on stalks.

What I love is the notion of faces turned toward the sun. Wherever the sun goes, the plant, without mind, heart or soul, follows. The flower knows the sun is where the nourishment is. The life. And it reflects the golden life so, so well. Then oddly enough, when the seeds are ripening, the sunflower faces only east to protect the seeds from scalding.

If that is not enough, the center of the flowers form circles. Like a crown.

Wonder what God is saying through this simple act of nature?  Follow. Reflect. Glory displayed.

Father, I think You are so smart and so beautiful in how nature teaches us about You. Teach us to look and listen. Warm our hearts and minds, that we would follow You and find life. Amen.