There is a story told of a carpenter who had reach an age he was retirement ready. He longed for a life of leisure to spend with his wife day after day as well as time to visit his kids, their family, and the grandchildren. He explained such to his boss who was the contractor, that although the paycheck would be missed, it was necessary that he retire and that they would manage okay with what they had in retirement.
The contractor was remorseful that his trusty worker would leave, however he asked his carpenter if he could take on one more house as a favor to him. The carpenter agreed to fulfill the personal favor of his boss. It was evident over the past few months that the carpenter’s heart was not as much in his work as it used to be. He got to where he used materials that were substandard, and his workmanship was careless. The carpenter completed the job he was requested and the contractor came out to the house, it was then that the contractor handed the keys to the carpenter and told him, “this is my gift to you…. This is your house.” If the carpenter had only known that he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
Is it really any different with us today? How often we go about our daily lives and build in a way that is unfocused and preoccupied. We tend to simply give knee jerk reactions rather than thoughtful consideration to the appropriate action. We only are ready to use what is the leftovers, the substandard things than that which is valuable and holds worth. All through our lives we find that times came, opportunities arrived and only gave it the minimal effort(s). We then survey what has been created only to find that we are living in the house we have built. Circumstances didn’t make it, I made choices. Decision after decision, and if we had only known, we would have done it all so differently. There are songs that we sing from time to time entitled as follows: “Make Me A Servant,” “Jesus, Let Us Come To Know You, “It Is Time To Build.” Such songs invoke thoughts about that which I am building for my Master today. In every aspect of my life, I need to consider, and I mean “perceive intensively,” on how I build my life, as God through Haggai said to the Jews, “consider your ways” (1:5). They were told to consider their life, their attitudes toward God and what they were giving God versus what they were giving themselves. They were found to be indifferent and called upon to re-evaluate their priorities.
Yes, the same words echo to us today, for us to consider our ways, to check our priorities, to check our attitudes toward God and toward each other and to build wisely. For the fact remains, this is the only opportunity of a life we must build. Each day we are blessed with is another day in which we live the life that Jesus died for us to have an abundant life, basking in His wonderful love, grace, and mercy, enjoying the spiritual blessings, committed to be faithful to Him with the best to offer.
One has said, “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
The life we have today is the very product of the decisions we have made. It reminds me of what Jesus said in regarding the two different builders in Matthew 7:24-27. One heard the sayings of Jesus and DID them, and he was likened to a man who built his house on the rock. When the storms came, the winds, the floods of water and beat upon that house, it remained sturdy and strong because it was built on the rock. Sadly, the other builder that is mentioned may have heard the sayings of Jesus, however he did not apply them and do them. Jesus likened that builder to having built his house on the sand and when the storms came accompanied with the wind and floods of water that beat upon that house, it fell and “great was its fall”.
Consider the house you are building today. It is my earnest hope that you are building as a wise master builder in that the foundation that is laid, is on the rock, that is Christ, but as Paul said to the disciples of Christ at Corinth, “let each one take heed how he builds on it” (1 Cor. 3:10,11). Paul would go on to describe various materials for building in that passage. Such materials are representative of the very quality of work, the motivations, the life in which they were constructing. We are builders on the foundation of Jesus. Remember that it is God who owns the building, and He will judge the quality of the work of the builders (1 Cor. 3:12-17).
Let us survey what we have built thus far in our lives. Is it something of great value unto God? A life that is built with the precious things that will not fade away. A life built with the worthwhile materials of the living word of God, built to serve, built to help, built to encourage, built to glorify God.
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂