For many, building a shelving unit or entertainment centre, assembling a child’s bike or building a plastic model is more than enough when it comes to building projects. Some of us were successful, others would give themselves a passing grade and the rest just plain gave up. Most of us have never built our own house or anyone else’s. Replacing a kitchen faucet or hanging a few pieces of drywall is far beyond most people’s construction experience. Even if you have never picked up a hammer, almost everyone has driven by a construction site…
…It always amazes me that construction, for the most part, is done by men when the first and most important thing is to look at the plans. Maybe that’s why many churches are in trouble; men take on many of the leadership roles but how often do they look at the plans, the instruction manual, the Bible…
…It’s time to pour the footings.
Dull and borrrring some would say but I think concrete workers might see it differently. The one thing I am sure we can agree on is they are necessary. They will become unseen and for the most part forgotten, which is no big deal when we are talking about a physical structure.
When we extend the building metaphor to life as a Christ follower and to the collective of Christ followers, it’s not a big deal that the footings of the Christ follower and collective of Christ followers go unseen, it’s the fact that the footings are forgotten…
…This may sound strange, but the next time you are in your basement or crawlspace think of God.
You can’t see the footings but they are there somewhere under the floor or the dirt. Soon enough you will leave and they will be most likely forgotten.
Next time you drive by a construction site with dug out areas ready for concrete, think of God. It won’t be long before the other parts of the building cover up the footings and they are unseen and most likely forgotten.
The next time you wonder why life seems busy but unfulfilling, think about footings.
The next time your church runs down a list of what it is doing but somehow something seems to be missing, think about footings.
You know, that unseen and often forgotten necessity that supports the weight, pressures and stress, just like God does!…
…Somewhere along the line we started to think that God sees the world the way we do.
The unseen footings that are supposed to support our lives and our churches were forgotten because we didn’t see a need for them. Isaiah [Isaiah 55:8 click here for verse] reminds us that there is no merging of the minds. God and humans don’t think alike. God never said you can’t come up with a good way to represent Him. The problem isn’t with what you know, it’s with things you cannot know.
Although there are things you cannot know, you can have a little understanding.
God has a plan that intersects the lives of all throughout history. He doesn’t think in one dimension or one timeline but instead He has prepared for today by weaving together yesterday and every day before that. He has already prepared for the future before we could dream of what it would be like…
…Proverbs 3:5-6 [click here for verse] offers a better way to build the life of the Christ follower and the collective of Christ followers. “Trust in the Lord”. Plain and simple, but just in case you thought this was a limited time offer or some conditions may apply, it says; “with all your heart”. If you still think that there is a place for you to do it on your own, I like the next part because it brings home the idea that we can’t be the footings. “Lean not on your own understanding [knowledge]”.
Don’t put the weight of your life or your church on what you know. We can’t carry the weight of ministry, personal and corporate, the weight of salvation, ours and those we are called to interact with, discipleship and discipline, ours and those to whom we provide leadership.
Our understanding/knowledge is not God’s.
The way we look at the world is not God’s perfect way of looking at the world. We are limited. Instead of applying our own flawed understanding or knowledge, we need to have a little understanding of what is asked of us; “in all your ways submit to Him”. Transfer the weight of life’s decisions to the only one who can support you. Transfer the pressure of church decisions to the only footing that was designed to take the stress – God.
People often ask, “why does life suck?”
For those who find the language offensive, please forgive me but it wouldn’t be a quote if I tried to soften it. Pastors may use more carefully chosen words, replacing the offensive ones and reworking the question this way, “why is everything a struggle at my church?” I would never go as far as to say the solution to life sucking or a struggling church is Proverbs 3:5-6 but I can say the solution to navigating through these times is not in your hands, your strength, or how you understand things. The solution lies in letting God take over and He will plot the course. He will carry the weight. “He will make your paths straight…”
…If God is not the footings on which everything in our lives and in our church stands, then what is being built will fall.
Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
*This blog is an excerpt from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer. As I start to navigate the editing, typesetting, cover design and other aspects of the publishing process I find I am still impatient even though I am getting closer to the finished product. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needed to read these words now.