Friday, March 23, 2018

Tract or Custom Home?

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. (2 Peter 1:5-8 MSG)
I have often referred to this daily and continual work of "growing up" in Jesus, but how many of us actually consider "growing up" work? For some, it is the ultimate goal in life - but that is probably when you are ten! For those of us "grown up" already, we long for the 'good old days' when life was simpler and our main issue for the day consisted of if a friend would like our outfit! Growing up physically is one thing - growing up in Jesus is quite another! One physical food, rest, and mental investment. The other requires spiritual food, trustful and expectant rest, and a mental grasp on things you might have otherwise been totally blind to! We all realize it is possible to 'grow up', but never really 'mature'. The idea of growing up involves more than growing older - there is supposed to be a physical, mental, and emotional transformation that occurs as we do!
"Basic faith" is to be 'built upon' - it is a foundation only - nothing erected on a foundation is a waste of a good foundation! Recently I viewed a program featuring some techniques on building 'off the grid' in some of the more remote regions of the nation. The idea is that the home owners will build a home that is kind of self-sustaining and live a pretty simple lifestyle, doing without some of the things some 'city dwellers' may have come to expect as 'normal' living. Electricity might be garnered from solar panels, water from springs, and furnishings from those things you can make from what you clear from the land. It all starts with a good foundation 'suitable' for the space where the building will be erected. If it will be up in the trees, having solidly growing, healthy trees spaced perfectly apart is essential. If it will be on the ground of a sloping mountainside, carving out a safe place to build the structure and supporting it with sufficient bracing to keep it from sliding away in a rainstorm is critical!
Each home built represents something unique because it is both built for the environment in which it is to provide shelter within, and it is designed to suit the needs of those who will dwell inside that structure. Some are round, square, or oblong. The design is determined by the foundation. The design of what is "built-into" the structure of our lives begins with the foundation. If that foundation is Christ, then what is built upon that foundation is solid - regardless of how that 'dwelling' takes shape! Some of the buildings are erected in pretty harsh weather conditions - needing to withstand cold and freeze for many months of the year. Double walls may be created, allowing for extra insulation. Some of our lives are didn't exactly take form as 'beach homes', overlooking lapping waters, with swaying palms in the backdrop. Some of our lives are like the ones built to withstand the hard freeze of winter and still be a shelter that warms and welcomes!
Why are our lives all a little bit different? I think God never set out to build "tract homes" - he set out to build "custom dwellings" - places where his Son would be the foundation, but which revealed beautiful attributes of his character in unique ways within each of these 'earthly dwellings'! Just sayin!