The Delta pilot announced our arrival time to MSP. As the plane descended, I gazed out at the variety of tall buildings framed by the small window and considered the structures, their varied style, materials, and differing heights.
My husband has built or remodeled several of them.
I have an inkling of what goes into erecting or remodeling 16 or more stories. The amount of time and people it takes to do the bidding, manage the funds, acquire the design, and read the plans. Then there’s the hiring and overseeing of crews for each aspect of the work. And it’s never smooth-sailing. There is opposition. Often weather, sometimes poor attitudes, flawed communication or even no-shows which throws every other sub-contractor off.
Sheetrock is held up if the wiring isn’t finished on time. Flooring halts if the tapers are behind. What each person contributes to a job-sight matters.
Over the course of the twelve years or so that my husband has supervised commercial buildings, I’ve marveled after hearing his daily telling of stories, that a job would ever get done! Finishing is a victory of majestic proportions, worthy, in my opinion, of a large party. But they usually just move on to the next job.
My point is that when we work, there is creation.
Buildings rise, gardens grow, product sells.
Every hit of the hammer, every stroke of the brush, every planting of the seed . . . and V’W’alla!! Roll out the welcome mat! Have a salad! Decorate your walls!
Our movements add up and advance something.
Fruit nourishes, building life.
Weeds choke, aborting life.
I read a blog post the other day by Mike Donehey of the band, Tenth Avenue North, and “I was stuck in my head and couldn’t get out” ~ just as the author describes himself after watching The Bachelorette show for the first time, and then giving this wise reaction.
As I was stuck in my head, I remembered the mud I’ve often observed online in the “hostile” comment section, you know the ones you see
ever so often far too often, where someone is defending an immoral person’s plea for acceptance of behavior, “As long as it doesn’t affect me.” or “If they want to ______, what does it matter, it’s not hurting anyone.” and then the famous line of our day, “Who are you to judge!?” meaning, “I don’t want to hear your view because it opposes mine.”
The line of thinking is so dead wrong.
When God created us in His image, He endowed us with His creativity and He gave us healthy boundaries to guide us, keeping us safe. <–fascinating – without boundaries, sheep eat themselves to death.
He also expects us to uphold His boundaries for the love of humanity.
Creation is power. God creates everything from nothing-nothing but His infinite power. We can create nothing unless it originates in Him. We take the seed, the material, the yeast [from Him] and work it into the ground, the canvas, the dough and out comes plants, paintings and provision.
Our creative process is receive, work, produce, repeat.
And there are two possible outcomes. Building up or tearing down. Giving life or diminishing life. Moving toward God or moving away. [I might add, moving others toward God or away.]
Contrast building a house to a working a meth lab.
Contrast a vote of confidence with an encouraging word to a brutal tongue-lashing.
Contrast serving at a soup kitchen to burglarizing a convenience store.
Contrast self-denying love to self-serving demands in a relationship.
Using those contrasts, it’s easy to see the positive or negative effect of one choice over another.
But what about our daily, sometimes seemingly insignificant choices? What power might they hold? What we eat, whether we exercise, what we watch, purchase, read, how we drive, etc.
Back to The Bachelorette, follow a trail of that one show’s potential influence on up-coming young people, believing women to be nothing more than s*x-objects and you will find at it’s end, s*x-trafficking, pornography and prostitution. Broken families, broken children, and a broken society.
And I guess we are already there, aren’t we? The USA is broken, and in deep need of healing.
No doubt, you too have considered the cause of so many woes in our day. How is it that human thinking has become so twisted?
And it’s easy to see several things that have hastened the advancement of sin, evil, confusion and darkness, but what about the little things? What about my daily choices? How may they have contributed to the increased violence, lawlessness and immorality?
Have I held to the God’s standard? Loving what He loves and despising what He hates? Or have I compromised as the boundaries have moved increasingly outward in culture? Do I need to pull in my boundaries again by practicing self-denial and restraint? What have I invested in? Life or death?
Have you considered your power?
What are you producing?
What roles and positions do you hold where you influence others?
What are you building with your time, energy and resources?
“Whether we like it or not, our private choices eventually bear public fruit. The things we prioritize from the day to day are like seeds we plant in the ground. In due time they surface and bear fruit in our lives –good, bad, or otherwise. Though we are saved by grace and loved unconditionally, our stewardship matters to God.” ~Susie Larson #YourSacredYes p. 155
“What we do with the cross determines where we spend eternity. How we live our life here determines how we spend eternity.” ~John Bevere ” Driven by Eternity
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Jesus