KEY SCRIPTURE 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
RELEVANCE While on my morning walk, I passed an establishing ominous-looking Church. I say establishing because the building works have been ongoing for many years. I think they work on it when funds are available.
So far as buildings go, they're doing it tastefully from what looks to be sandstone or similar coloured concrete bricks. Placed proudly atop the tall Church are three round steeples, the middle one larger than the others. Three ornate crosses of keenly polished brass or fake gold are secured on top of those. I've seen it for many years but only noticed it recently due to my new route. I glanced over, and my first thought was about the vacant space in height and how many more people could fit in if they built it shorter and longer. It's a practical thought that most of us would run through our minds, but I guess aesthetics are essential in these types of Churches.
Then my mind went to the fact that Christ isn't in buildings, as a Church is people. But they need to meet somewhere.
As I mulled through those usual immediate thoughts, I began focussing on my own building—the one on which God prefers me to concentrate. Then this vast temple-like structure became worthwhile to my ponderings.
I considered the importance of the foundations for such a place and whether my foundations in Jesus Christ were as solid. How many disasters can I withstand without crumbling or having my life's bricks loosen and fall?
I thought of the inside, which I couldn't see, and how opulent that would be with polished muralled ceilings painted to God. Is my heart as lavishly decorated for the living God, a place of beauty for others? Or have I not cared enough, leaving it bare with grumblings, whinings, self-focus and self-indulgence?
My thoughts turned to those lofty steeples reaching heavenward like continually-raised arms of thanksgiving. Am I as permanently praising and thanking God for what He has done for me? Philippians 4:4 says Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. I had to ask myself if I lowered my arms in apathy or negligence or not seeing the point.
As I looked around the yard, there were mounds of soil with weeds growing out of the top, some old lengths of timber lying around, and a crushed-rock driveway. Nothing fancy at the moment. But the building—the reason for the land—was as cared for as any palace. It had all the focus.
I now look at this building through different eyes, the eyes of a pupil, as it has helped me see parts of myself that may be lacking, that may need greater attention.
This building, which I would be unlikely to attend, has made me richer just by being there. I will keep this my usual route for a while and see what else I can learn.
PRAYER Dear Lord, thank you for the richness of these thoughts. You can provide teaching lessons anywhere using anything, and I ask you to keep teaching me using this monument.
Photo by Allie Reefer