The rock pile, just west of the rodeo grounds is a prominent Tehachapi land mark. It has an air-way beacon on top with rotating white and green lights. It is within a transportation corridor, the freeway is to the north, the airport just to the south, the railroad south of the airport, and the old highway - Tehachapi Boulevard - to the south of the railroad.
Despite the modern, evidence of the Indian past remains, etched into the stone by the Indian women who prepared food there.
The beacon shines over the entire valley. The white light saying, "Here I am," the green light saying, "Come it is safe."
Tehachapi is a safe haven. A valley hidden in the mountains. A level place. A fertile place. A place watered by natural springs. A place where gold is found.
Though the face of the valley has changed much in the last 200 years, the rock pile remains. It is too massive to move - it is simpler to go around it. It is too jumbled to build on - it has stood through time, nearly untouched.
There is a red-tailed hawk nesting in a digger pine on the north side of the rock pile. It is a lonely place, a desolate place. Yet, thousands pass within the shadow of the rock each day on the freeway. Heading down the road, with eyes fixed ahead, not seeing the nest or the rock.
The community 4th of July fire works show is held on the rock's east side. The population of entire valley is drawn here to celebrate our nation's independence. Could we not be drawn here to proclaim our dependence on the power and blood of Jesus, and independence from the bondage to sin.
Just weeks earlier, every year, Indians are drawn to the Valley for Pow-Wow. It is a time to celebrate. To gather in fellowship. To dance and sing. Though they are a defeated people, whose land was unjustly taken, whose innocent blood cries from the land... they are here to celebrate the present and look to the future, while embracing their rich cultural heritage.
Many are drawn to Tehachapi from the city. Just as the hawk sought out the isolation of the rock, many have sought Tehachapi as an isolated place, an escape from the crush and madness of the city.
But we must build our lives on the immovable rock of Jesus. Only in him is peace and deliverance. He does not offer escape, yet as we stand on him, it is as if we are on an island of peace... in the middle of the never ending flow of those who are frantically, constantly seeking fulfillment outside of Him. It is like the constant flow of cars and trains that surround the rock pile, which stands timeless and ageless, with the beacon on the highest point summoning the traveler, the seeker, "Here I am, come."
Lord may we join in fellowship with all who are drawn to this valley, as we stand on the timeless rock of Jesus.
lmv June 5, 1999