Throughout the world at the present time, there is an activity being carried on that has been in existence in some form since the beginning of civilization. However, since World War II it has been on a steady increase, and now we find it in just about every direction we look.
Yes, in just about every direction we turn our heads we see people building. Buildings -- of all different sizes and shapes, constructed of all types of materials, and for a variety of purposes -- are being built. And there is one thing that all of these buildings must have in common to pass inspection: a solid and secure foundation.
If a building doesn't have a good foundation, it won't make any different how much money is spent on it or how well it is built. It will not be long until the windows begin to jam, the plaster cracks, and the floors buckle. One must have a secure and solid foundation upon which to build.
What we have been saying about buildings is also true of people -- we must have a solid and secure foundation for our lives. There was an Episcopalian clergyman I was acquainted with who wore a size "tipple D" shoe. His foot was so big he was fondly referred to as "Reverend Footsie." But this is not the kind of foundation I am referring to: I'm thinking about the foundation to man's soul, the foundation to one's very house of life.
And here is a question I want the readers to consider -- right now! What type of foundation have you built your life on? Is it a foundation that will withstand anything that comes along? Will it withstand the rains, the winds, and the floods of life, the unexpected tragedies and sadness that periodically interrupt our lives, the kinds of storms that seem to be part of every person's life? Or when hard times come along and pressures build and you are faced with sorrow and uncertainty and fear and resentment and hard decisions, do your windows begin to jam, your plaster crack, and floors buckle? What kind of a foundation is your life built on?
We know what kind of materials are needed for a secure foundation when building a physical building, but what are the ingredients of a good foundation for our lives -- money, fame, business, success, sex, cars, houses, possessions? Are these the things we should strive for in 2015 for security, happiness, and contentment? Experience and history have taught that these are not the ingredients of a foundation that will withstand the ups and downs of human existence.
Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27. "Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." What caused me to listen up are his closing words: "and great was the fall of it." Is your life--is my life--built on a foundation of rock or sand?
When asked what is the most important thing we should do in life, Jesus replied by saying: "You shall love the Lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:34-40)
As we move into 2015, just think what kind of a world we could have by doing these two things: (1) loving God and (2) loving our neighbors as ourselves. Everyone one of us--every individual--should think about that. I'm sure someone will say, "But what difference can one person make?" I could give you all kinds of examples of individuals who have made a great difference. But forget thinking about what only one person can do; instead, think about what all of us together could do. We could actually change our neighborhoods, our towns and cities, our country--yes, even change the world. How do we actually do it?
What Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16 could apply here: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
But the "nay-sayers" will interrupt our reasoning here by saying that perhaps we could make a difference in the world, but all of us are set in our ways, and you know the old adage: you can't teach an old dog new tricks. My reply is that I have seen old houses lifted off their foundations, put on trucks and trailers, moved half way across town, and placed on new foundations in new neighborhoods--or sometimes moved several miles to new towns. If need be, you can move your house of life to a new, more solid foundation.
You--we--can make a real difference in 2015 if we truly dedicate ourselves to becoming a united force of change by loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. What kind of foundation does your house of life have? Is it built on rock or sand? What kind of a world do you (we) want?