In the old days, a millstone was a necessary appliance.They used it to grind the food for the kitchen table. It was an old fashion mixer. An article in The Salt Shaker of the Bible & Life magazine introduces us to alternative uses of the millstone.
Milestones come in pairs. The bed stone is stationary and usually convex and the grinding is done by the top stone which is slightly concave and has a handle which moves it against the bed stone to grind.
After about 30 or 40 years of use the wear and tear on the millstone make it impossible to do its job of crushing the ingredients to make powder and at times it just falls apart. How does one retire the millstone?
What does one do with a millstone that no longer can function properly? They are not the kind of product you throw in the trash or the junk heap. It can no longer grind but it can serve as a weight for other food stuff in the making of kimchi. It becomes a pressure stone, but after another 30 years the corners wear down and for certain foods, it loses its value.
Often they are seen in homes on the patio or in the yards as an ornament, a reminder to the homeowners of the past.
Buddhist monks when the millstone becomes useless in the preparation of food place them on the grounds where the water gathers in a rain storm and they become stepping stones to keep the shoes clean.
We are able to find alternative uses of many of the products that with age are no longer functional. The article ends with the conclusion that persons who know how to use things correctly will also have the personalities that will allow them to respect their fellow humans.
In the Gospels the word is used only three times and used in a very exaggerated way to show the evil of scandalizing the young: it is better to have a millstone tied around their necks and thrown into the sea than have them harm the young.