The arch seemed 100 miles tall back then, but I think it was probably just around seven feet tall. I started off by myself. I stacked blocks up on the ground in two places. As the arch came together and the curve started to show, I had to enlist the help of my grandma. By the time we got to the top of the arch, we could barely keep it standing. We got some random family to help us out. They held it all together until we could get that keystone, the center block, in between each side. Once we put the keystone in, we stepped back and admired the beautiful foam arch. And then I knocked it down for fun, but that's irrelevant.
I'm no engineer, but I do know that the keystone is the crucial part of the arch. It allows the arch to stay together and support weight.
According to Wikipedia, the keystone is "the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. Although a masonry arch or vault cannot be self-supporting until the keystone is placed, the keystone experiences the least stress of any of the voussoirs, due to its position at the apex."
The keystone of our lives is God. Or at least it should be. The similar image of the cornerstone is constantly used to describe Jesus. I didn't come up with the correlation, but after thinking about it, I can't believe how accurate it is.
We have a lot of things going on in our lives. Family, friends, work, school, etc. We stack it all up and think we can handle it. And we can for a little bit. Once it starts to get more complicated, however, it gets tough. We need help from family and friends (and random strangers sometimes) if we want to keep building upon our arch. And once it gets to that crucial moment when all hands are on deck struggling to keep that arch up, we realize that no earthly measures are sufficient.
It is at this point that we must turn to God. He is the keystone, the cornerstone, the key. Whatever you want to call Him, He is necessary in the arch and in our lives. Because of Him, everything else makes sense. Everything can fit together and withstand pressure. Without Him, our arch crumbles.
We can make something else the keystone. Material items or emotions can fill the gap, but never fully. They are weak keystones, and weak keystones create weak arches. We could put a pebble on top of the weak arch and it would hold. But when the earthquake comes, it will come crashing down in a heartbeat. If we make anything other than God our foundation, we won't be able to withstand the tough times. Our lives will come crashing down in a heartbeat if we aren't rooted in Christ.
The Keystone of Christ can handle a pebble, a rock, a boulder, a mountain, and more! God can endure anything this world has to throw at us. In this world, we will face trouble. But take heart! Jesus has overcome this world (Jesus says it Himself in John 16:33). The keystone experiences the least stress because it is at the apex. God is at the apex of everything. He created everything, conquered everything, and can handle everything. He will not be affected by earthly troubles. He is not damaged by the stress that damages us constantly. He is the rock that holds us together when everything else is falling down around us.
But unlike an architectural keystone, He doesn't need to placed last during construction. If we have Him there to start with, we know that no matter what pops up in our lives, God is there to support us. The world can throw endless trouble on top of our arch, but with God at the apex, it's not going anywhere.
|Kelly enjoying the arches of St. Ann Parish.|
Put God first and everything else will eventually come together to form a sturdy arch. Put Him last and there will be no arch for Him to support.