Anyone who has entered into a building or renovation project finds that it is often a noisy and messy process.
Naturally! Those who are not used to the work, mess and time involved in such a project can be discouraged and may question why they ever entered into it. And those who are not accustomed to or at least informed as to the cost of such projects can be overwhelmed and wonder how something that seemed so simple could end up costing so much. Dream big and save big for what it is you want to do, but keep the aspirin handy: such is the way of progress.
And that’s just in the physical world. As much energy, time, hard work, and resources as we may pour into those material things that ultimately do not last, we should be reminded of how carefully one must be in the building of one’s life: our relationships, reputations and legacies. Only one life to live with eternity to follow. Maybe we’d better get things right in the here and now.
So … how do you really make your life count? What steps can you take in building for yourself something that will outlast your physical body? How will you go about leaving something behind that will endure beyond the end of your days here on earth?
Begin by asking yourself, “Who is doing the building in my life?” Perhaps that seems like an odd question, but it’s an extremely important one. It is vital to understand who ultimately has the right to be the architect of your destiny. Shouldn’t it be the One Who made you? Is it not God, the Creator, Savior, Master and Lord? Would it not be worthwhile and wise to let the One Who created you with grand themes in mind to lead you into experiencing His plans for your life?
After all, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1a ESV). Who wants to live a life that ultimately is summed up as vain and empty of meaning? Besides that, while it is a great idea to plan ahead, remember that “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV). Is it not better to willingly follow the Lord’s leading than to go kicking and dragging one’s feet?
Secondly, ask yourself the question, “With what material am I building my life?” I don’t mean, of course, things like straw, wood or even brick (whatever the Three Little Pigs may think).
The things I mean are a little bit more abstract. Are you building a life with the highly unstable materials so highly valued by the world? Are you in an obsessed pursuit for material success? Are you aiming for the topsy-turvy goal of the acclamation of others? Are the evasive prizes of position and influence your heart’s desires and the reasons that you do all that you do?
With all the ways you could spend your life lying before you like an endless menu, you’ll likely get a throbbing in your head akin to the one that I have from the rhythm (or lack thereof) of hammers pounding a mere yard or two away from me all this week.
Nonetheless, you will have not lived in vain if you build your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ with the bricks and mortar of love, holiness, faith, service, hope and courage. On the contrary, “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame’” (1 Peter 2:4-6 ESV).
If I were to attempt to sum up the gist of what God can do with your life, I might borrow the theme from “Bob the Builder”, one of our children’s favorite television shows when they were little: “God the Builder: Can He build it? Yes, He can!”
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.