Foundations: 1) Introduction
This is the introduction to a series of posts addressing foundational issues of life that determine our world-view. This particular entry introduces the need for a solid foundation.
Who Needs Foundations Anyway?
Whenever we build a house, we must first build the foundation. If we lay a square foundation, we will end up building a square house. If we lay a rectangular foundation, we will end up building a rectangular house, and so forth. The foundation, though it may be invisible, defines the structure. If we have to build a rectangular house but lay a square foundation, we’re doomed to failure.
If we try to build a house without a foundation, it will be unable to hold its shape. Rooms will be out of square, doors and windows will not work, floors will have mountains and valleys, and the roof will inevitably leak. If we continue adding to the structure, it will surely collapse of its own weight. Such a structure would be so dangerous that it would be condemned.
If we try to build a three story house with a foundation designed for a one story house, the house will surely collapse. The leaning tower of Pisa is the world’s most famous building constructed on a poor foundation. As a result the tower continues to tilt more and more. It’s on the verge of total collapse; only extraordinary engineering support and efforts to shore up the foundation have allowed it to remain standing.
Clearly, foundations are important in construction. For this reason the government requires an inspection of the foundation before construction of a house can proceed. If it is important enough to inspect the foundation of a house which we can abandon at will, how much more important is it that we have a strong foundation for our lives, our thoughts, our words, and our actions? Each breath we take, each second we live, is in fact another brick added to a permanent legacy we are building – the house of our personal history.
Foundations in Life
So if we want to live an exceptional life, a meaningful life, a significant life, we must have the right foundation to support such a life lest it collapse. If we want our life to be as a tower or a skyscraper, we need a foundation that goes deep underground; a foundation that rests on solid ground – preferably on solid rock – as does the skyscraper’s foundation.
How do we know the foundation for our life is solid? Unlike a physical house,
- We do not receive a permit to build – or do we but we don’t know it?
- An inspector doesn’t come to view our work – or does he but we don’t see him?
- There are so many ways to build a house and they all look pretty on the outside – or are they mere Hollywood sets and facades with no substance?
How can we know the truth? All is not as it looks.
The Master Builder
One way is to rely on the master builder himself, the Creator of all life: Christ Jesus. He even gave us the specifications for the foundation (Mat 7:24-27). We can call on Him at any time to inspect our building. He doesn’t want us to build a rickety old cardboard shack; He wants us to build a grand skyscraper. If we have a personal relationship with Him, we can pick up the phone and call Him. We can invite Him to inspect our foundation, our heart, and provide direction, advice, and even help (unlike the building inspector). If we don’t have that personal relationship with Jesus, perhaps this is the time to establish one. Perhaps this is the time to recognize that we cannot meet God’s construction code of perfection, that we will fail the inspection without His help.
Let’s call Jesus the Carpenter, admit our sins to Him believing that He can and will show us the way, the truth, and the light to build that grand skyscraper of life. Let us bend our knee before Him and call on Him in desperation, “Dear Lord Jesus, I have missed the mark, I am a sinner, this house I’m building is falling apart, and I need your help. Come into my heart, show me, teach me, lead me to build the skyscraper you had envisioned my life to be.”
Do It Yourself
On the other hand, there are those who don’t have the phone number for Jesus in their Rolodex. Or perhaps they have the number, but may feel they are doing just fine, thank you. They don’t need help from the Master Carpenter. They may believe that the foundation of their building is quite adequate and strong, even though it isn’t.
Many today will tell you, “The foundation of your life is not important, nor does it matter how you structure it as long as it pleases you. You are a free person. No one owns you.” Is that statement based on truth or make believe? Is it consistent with the reality of this world? It is not. We are not free to do as we wish; we must accept and accommodate reality lest we be destroyed. We cannot choose to live our life any which way; we cannot choose to live our life on a foundation of falsehoods and thrive; we must face the trials of truth to survive.
Given the option, would you knowingly build your physical house on top of a toxic dump? Of course not! The danger of painful illness from the dump is too great. So why build your life on a foundation of toxic lies? The danger of pain and suffering is too great.
Does a bird build a nest anywhere it pleases, or does it seek out a spot free from predators? Even the birds recognize that they are not free to live as they please. Even they know they must
Of course we all want our physical homes to be as safe as possible from all potential dangers posed by the real world! Should we not do the same with our lives also?
Now suppose that the greatest threat to our lives is not physical but spiritual. “No problem, ignore it,” says the modern thinker. “The only threat you have to worry about is the physical world you can sense. Nothing else exists.” But what if that foundational statement is not true, but a toxic lie? What if there is more to this world than meets the eye? Are we being like the foolish man who builds his house on sand?
Is there a way to discern the truth? Is it possible to know for certain without asking Jesus? Yes, there is: It must stand the test of reality, the test of truth; otherwise it will collapse when the rains come and the wind blows. [link to Truth] Read on, my friends: All may not be as it looks.
Beware, my friend. All may be not as it looks. Read “The Toxic Lie.”
© 2012 notasitlooks