Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?

Stones can take us the distance, especially when they keep us out of the current in a running stream as we try to cross it. I live next to the Boise River. I know this to be true!

A boulder on our path can either be an inconvenience or a platform. Stepping on a boulder allows us to get a better perspective of what’s ahead.

Interestingly, what some people see as stumbling blocks are perceived as “normal occurrences” by others. Our attitude can either be a stumbling block or a stepping stone.

When you encounter boulders, do you see stumbling blocks or stepping stones?


34 thoughts on “Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?

  1. At first,I saw them as stumbling blocks but I learnt quite a lot from those encounters—-
    Metaphorically speaking .At other times I see them as works of Art.

  2. As a veteran of dozens of wilderness canoe trips where I’ve made hundreds of portages over rugged, rocky, muddy, slippery trails, I’d say that rocks can simultaneously be stumbling blocks and stepping stones. In many cases, it all depends on exactly where you step on the rock. An inch off-center and lookout! Many rocks appear to be stable when lightly tested, but when you put your full weight on them or apply pressure from a different angle, they wobble like crazy.

    So my mantra today might be “One step at a time,” because going slowly and deliberately gives you time to evaluate each rock completely and decide if it’s a “good rock” or a “bad rock.”

    But it’s only rock-and-roll . . . and I LIKE IT. 🙂


    • Chris — I love your mantra: “One step at a time,” because going slowly and deliberately gives you time to evaluate each rock completely and decide if it’s a “good rock” or a “bad rock.” Wise words, those! 🙂

  3. Last week I encountered a boulder and had to figure out how to move past it. This week, a new one has appeared – now still in the problem-solving mode. i like the expression of the previous commenter: rock & roll! 🙂

    Your image is evocative, reminding me of my sisters and I stepping on smallish boulders at the edge of the Susquehanna River when we were kids.

    • Marian — In my experience, sometimes boulders seem like “Whack a Mole.” Just when you take care of one, another one pops up!

      I’m glad the photo evoked good memories o you and your sisters 🙂

  4. My mind immediately went to Riven Rock and the stream there here in Harrisonburg and when I first took my grandsons last summer (2019). I laid the law down for them, warning them of the dangers of the river, and the stumbling blocks (rocks) and to stay within sight of grandma and grandpa at all times. To the littlest, those were boulders, but we survived the adventure and came home only a little wet and all in one piece. I think the moral here is to recognize the dangers (the stumbling blocks) but as others are saying, use the rocks as stepping stones to greater learning. For these boys ages 3-5, the adventure was more about listening to directions and guidance–while having fun.

  5. Today I am encountering hail stones and lightening…no Zip walk until it all calms down. Life is better when I let it calm down – then opportunity shines through

  6. At first the stone may look and feel like a boulder blocking your view or path. Once that the initial shock diverse’s, letting go so that balance can be regain, the vision clears, the path way opens so stepping into or through on each stone allow for a new opportunity…

  7. I pretty much always see them as stepping stones . I live by the sea with rivers and streams joining and I invariably have the wrong foot ware on . I put it down to being a townie by heart . Without my stepping stones I’d get just get wet feet . So they are an aid not a hindrance.

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