Have you ever watched a house being built? Recently, I’ve been watching the process on my street. For weeks, we watched them digging this big hole and moving dirt around. After a couple of weeks, the land was all smooth and level and you could tell they were getting ready to build. Weeks of labor and all you could see was the flat landscape! What preparation does God do with you and me before we begin to realize we are under construction?
The next phase of work involved the foundation, critical to any construction project. The plumbing connections must all be placed correctly before the foundation floor is poured. The entire house must be imagined/seen resting on this foundation. This phase of the work can appear slow to those driving by, much of the detail cannot be seen. How does God prepare the foundation of your life? Do you spend time and energy investing in a solid foundation prior to building?
The frame of a house seems to go up overnight! You can drive by in the morning and see one wall being hoisted into place and come home to see a fully framed house. One day there was no house and now there is. It may not be live-able by today’s standards, yet it would offer shelter even at this stage of construction. Spiritually, there are times when we feel like we have been under construction for ages with little to show, and then all of a sudden there is a spurt of growth. Our developing faith is able to provide shelter even though we are still under construction.
The passerby watches to see what the exterior will look like—will it be brick or wood or something else? There is a new personal interest in the appearance of the house at this stage. When it is not our home, we care more about the external appearance than the internal details of the shelter. Spiritually, many are interested in the external appearance of a Christian or of a Church. It is what people see. It is not the home. However, if one has not invested in good design and construction, a pretty exterior can cover up a multitude of problems. It might look great yet not be solid and not last long.
At this point, it can seem as if construction has ceased. Driving by, we see little if any changes. The detail interior work is under way, and it cannot be seen on the outside. Plumbing and electrical work continue. Walls, floors and ceilings are finished out. What is going on in the interior life of a person under spiritual construction? We might see the exterior and think they are “complete” when they are still very much under construction.
Then comes the day when the construction trucks are gone and moving vans appear. The inhabitants are moving in! I’m reminded that a house is not a home; people and relationships make the difference. People can live in a house, but it is not a home unless love is there. Large or small, extravagant, modest, or simple, it is love that makes a home. How much love have you put into your spiritual construction? Does God dwell there with you, or have you attempted to build by yourself?
At retreat we will be thinking about all of this and more as we consider our lives as “Buildings Under Construction.” I can’t wait to join you and be a part of this exciting and transformative weekend!