Have you ever rode a bicycle on a cobblestone path or road? Or driven an automobile on a street paved with cobblestones? It is an unforgiving, frustrating and bone-jarring experience to say the least. The harder and faster you want to move over cobblestones , the slower and harder it is to move at all. It is an exercise in futility to attempt to defeat and counteract its resistive forces . When traveling on cobblestones, you simply must take your time and endure the ride.
The gist of the cobblestone effect is this:
“Increasing efforts to move forward and faster invoke increasingly opposing forces to resist you”.
Or in essence, “the force of resistance is directly proportional to the effort to push; increasing the force to push, results in generating inherently greater forces that resist”.
This is a phenomenon known as the cobblestone effect and has real-life application. This is going somewhere. Let’s take a look.
The Cobblestone Effect
The City of Baltimore is a wonderful town rich in American history. I live there and travel its streets to work five days a week. And if the truth be told its roads still leave one with an authentic, nostalgic 18th century experience. Cobblestone-like streets are very much in vogue here.
And you can normally pinpoint a driver acquainted with the nuances of Baltimore’s byways and roads – they can be spotted as those driving up the road like slalom skiers, weaving and crisscrossing in their lane to avoid potholes, mogul fields of warped, elephant-like skinned sections of asphalt or the misaligned, lopsided manhole covers that rudely mimic the feel of cobblestone.
How does this relate in a spiritual application? What relevance does this all have for an individual wanting to get closer to the true and living God? Immensely relevant.
The cobblestone effect is an effective tool in satan’s arsenal against the human soul and often a weapon of choice. Why? The enemy’s goal is to invoke frustration and futility while one attempts to seek the goodness and blessings available in God. We don’t have to be reminded that satan hates everything and anything where God is involved.
God is life. God is for growth. To satan, the only thing secondary to destroying life is to thwart or impede its growth – to throw continuous roads and paths of cobblestone in your life for the purpose of frustration, fatigue or even eventually just plain giving up in pursing the face and will of God. Can you relate?
Why not quit? Why not “throw in the towel”? Why not keep pushing and enduring long nights of loneliness and frustration? One word:
You are making progress over life’s cobblestones and onward to things with eternal significance as long as you don’t give up and stop moving forward!
Rise Above It
Outside of completely stopping or renting a hovercraft, the only way to minimize the cobblestone effect in life is to lighten your load and rise above it. How do you do that?
First, slow down:
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,(Ephesians 5:15)
Next, let someone help you pray, carry your load and burden:
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2
Lastly, give it to Jesus:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.(Matthew 11:28)
But, there will be times when we need something more. We just cannot do it ourselves or with the help of those around us. What then? Jesus shows up walking above the cobblestones and just lifts us and carries us above it all:
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. (Psalms 73:26)
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20)
We find in our journey through life that it is often a path lined with cobblestones; events, situations, encounters, thoughts and experiences that “do not line up”, are disjointed, not level (‘not fair’ – anyone?) or seem bewildering to our natural minds. Could it be God has ordained it that way? Has God intentionally framed and ordained our fragile life on earth so that we walk humbly, carefully and attentively? Jesus never told anyone whom he healed to rise up and run. But, he did tell them to “walk” and keep moving forward (Mat 9:5, Mk 2;9, Lk 5:23).
And it is interesting to note what will be found at the end of this life as we stand before God. Is the Lord so cold-hearted and cruel that He would line the street of Heaven with one of earth’s most dreaded surfaces – cobblestone? Not hardly:
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Revelation 21:21)
Jesus once turned water into wine. He is also able one day to turn our streets of cobblestone into a street of pure gold – if we keep pushing forward! Be Blessed.
So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)