Measure twice...cut once...

I am learning to build stuff from wood, but trust me on this one, the design may be good, but the execution of the measurements may not always be. Hence the little saying in woodworking: "Measure twice, cut once." I have made some stuff that looked great, but when we went to use it as it was designed, it was too narrow, too wide, too long, or too wobbly. All the work that went into it was grand. I took great care to sand, stain, and finish the piece, only to find it didn't 'measure up'. I wonder how many times we think we are building "good stuff" into our lives, only to look back and see how little we actually "built" that was all that 'good'. We always seem to think the endeavors of our lives are totally worthwhile - but in retrospect, how many of them really produced what we originally believed possible? The most amazing thing happens though when we set out on an endeavor with God - usually MORE than we believed possible happens!

If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn't guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (Psalm 127:1-2 MSG)

I have certainly done my share of "shack building". I am not a skilled builder, by any means, as you can plainly see by my own confessions as to the failures I have produced. I can drive a nail, even cut some wood, but I don't understand the "principles" of architecture or strength of various wood that actually help a building to be secure! In terms of erecting a "building", I'd defer to those who have actually studied how it is to be done! The same principle holds true in terms of our Christian walk. We are all able to take baby steps on occasion, but are we able to lay a solid foundation of principled values, honorable choices, or rock-solid emotions? I am thinking the answer to this question may be "not so much". We lack the "principles" of building these into our lives - we can measure, cut, and put together, but if something isn't quite right, the end result is kind of 'wonky'. This is why we need to get into the Word. We need to "study" how it is done in order to understand how we are involved in the building!

God actually is the builder - he looks to us to "relinquish" the control of our life-long "building projects" to him. He is like the general contractor on a building site. He oversees each and every task undertaken which will ensure a great finish to the project. If he has a "rogue" builder out there on the site, just building away, oblivious to the plans for the building, who knows what will be produced! I have seen some pretty weird "building projects" in my life. I have observed some very "amateur" attempts at adding a new room, or remodeling an existing room. I have installed a few ceiling fans, crawling through the attic and "tapping into" wiring in order to accomplish the task. I guess since the house never burnt down, I did an "okay" job! But...I am not an electrician. I don't proclaim to be "comfortable" with the schematics of how the "load" of each wire in the house was planned. This is where I need the assist of the general contractor, the electrician, and even the carpenter.

In terms of my family life, or my Christian development, I definitely need someone who knows the "schematics" of how this all works! I don't have it all down yet - so I need the "general contractor" to have control. God desires nothing more than to be given this control. How about you? Has there been some "rogue" building being done in your life? If so, it is not too late. A little "de-constructing" may be necessary, but in the end, the finished product will be a whole lot more secure! I have thought the projects I have created that didn't turn out so well wouldn't serve anyone well, but it amazes me how God can direct me to do one small thing and then the project takes on a different appearance, fits together much better, or gets the job done despite the imperfections. Some of us focus way too much on the imperfections in the 'life-long building project' God has undertaken with our lives, but trust me on this one - he isn't done, nothing is hopeless, and there is still lots more he will do to complete the work he has begun. So, God - build on! 


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