We’re all familiar with the “Wise and Foolish Builders” story in Matthew chapter 7. Most of us grew up singing the old Sunday School song. You know the one; “The wise man built his house upon the rock…” It’s a little story with a big point. It doesn’t matter what we build, if we don’t build it on a right foundation, it won’t last.
When I was in college I worked during the summers for a brick layer, ended up learning the trade and made my living for a few years in masonry (not free masonry—please don’t revoke my ordination). It’s been a handy trade to know. I’ve helped build two schools in Haiti and have done a lot of construction for camps and churches (I even built the shower stalls in the lower dining hall at Cedar Springs Camp).
Once I built a foundation for a cabin that was being relocated at a Christian camp. This cabin was in sad shape. The doors wouldn’t open or close and neither would the windows. But an interesting thing happened when we moved it to the new, level foundation. The building, which had been sagging, slowly straightened out. And when it did, the windows and doors all started working again. Turns out that it wasn’t a door and window problem at all. It was a foundation problem.
I’m afraid that in our churches, figuratively speaking, too often we give too much attention to windows and doors and too little attention to the foundation. I know that I’m guilty. Just last week I was working on a capital stewardship campaign for one of our churches. I put together all of the campaign steps into a timeline and shot it off to a number of people via email. After I hit the “send” button it dawned on me that my proposed campaign included nothing about prayer. OUCH! Talk about a faulty foundation!
The Psalmist was right; “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” So, once again, speaking figuratively, before you try to fix that window that won’t open and close, give the foundation some attention.