Well, the rocks have finished tumbling in the final grit of sand, which should have polished them to a nice shiny finish. I rinsed off the gray sludgy sand, let them dry, and this is the end result:
You may be thinking to yourself "they don't look shiny, do mine eyes deceive me?" The answer is, no, your eyes do not deceive you. The rocks did not shine up. If you'll notice, a few of them don't even have a bit of rough patches smoothed out. I asked myself "what happened?" And so I did a bit of research and discovered the answer. https://rocktumbler.com/blog/phooey-my-stones-didnt-get-a-nice-polish/
Problem 1: I had used rocks of varying hardness. Some were too soft and the harder rocks wore them down quickly.
Problem 2: As a result of problem 1, the worn bits of soft rock changed the sand grit, it was no longer uniform, causing more wear to the soft rocks, and causing each week of tumbling to not change the rocks as it should have.
Problem 3: Again related to problem 1, as a result of the rocks getting smaller, there was too much space in the tumbler, so the rocks were hitting each other instead of rubbing, causing again the problem of uneven wear.
This rock tumbling site suggest using filler, such as ceramic or plastic pellets (https://rocktumbler.com/media.shtml) to help fill the spaces between rocks.
Although I was a bit disappointed with my rookie mistakes, I learned a lot, and I know what to improve on for next time. I do need to learn how to check for rock hardness and determine which ones are the same or very similar hardness before even putting them in the tumbler, so that will help a lot with overcoming the main issue.
This experience also gave me food for thought. There were several Biblical applications that can be applied here, but I had this thought first. Because I just thought of this, it's not really a proper lesson, just a rough draft that I'll polish up later. (puns!) I just wanted to share this thought here first.
Who is shaping you, the world or the Lord?
We are all shaped by our experiences as we go through life. But who is shaping us and why?
As I tumbled the rocks, I had noticed one wearing down and removed them from the tumbling process. It was broken in three pieces, but could still be used and beautiful to look at. But I missed a few and they tumbled until there was nothing left, just grains. Some are tiny fractions of what they used to be. I can still use them, but they will never be as glamorous or amazing as I had hoped. When the world shapes us, it is for their own benefit, to take as much from you as possible. The world will take you, wear you down until there's nothing left, and spit you out when you have nothing left to give. The end result is you are but a shell, a fragment of your former self. Some people never recover from this process and give up on life completely. Some may turn to God who takes what's left and can use them for His honor and glory. The world's motive for using your life is selfishness, to use you up and destroy your life for their own gain.
What is the Lord's motive for shaping us? God's motive for using our life is to give honor and glory to Him. God does want to use us, but not in the same way the world does. He doesn't want to use us up and throw us away when He's done. No, God wants us to endure the shaping process, to come out the other side purified, clean, and honorable. The shaping process is difficult, but God knows how to do it in such a way that we are not destroyed in the process, but purified. We cannot see what the end result will be, but God can. We need to trust God, put our lives in His hands.
II Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
II Timothy 2:20-21 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
The Bible is full of so many verses and entire chapters detailing how God wants to use us, but we have to go through a shaping process to get where God can use us the best, to bring Him honor and glory. But so many believe the shaping process is too difficult, too painful, and they give up. Don't give up on God's process. Trust Him to know that He only wants good things for you, just endure.
Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."