Months ago, I checked in on the progress of our “new build.” The lot had been torn up. It did not look very pretty. There were deep gouges in the the dirt for the plumbing, pipes sticking up through the ground, and boards flailing every which way. I knew the builders were preparing for the laying of the foundation…but did it have to look so ugly?
When I stopped by a few days later, the foundation workers were there. They were a group of three nice young men, and we had good little chat. I said, “your job, right now, is the most important job of this whole build. Do you understand that? Without a strong, good, foundation, the rest of the home is crap.” They smiled. They agreed. I asked them to really take it seriously. I told them that I was praying over this dirt. I think they thought I was a little crazy. (I was. I am. Let’s all just get that out of the way right now….)
I took it so seriously I told asked them to please put a lot of love and care into this foundation. I adamant. They young men were in agreement with me.
While I was driving home after that little interaction, I realized that this is messy, tedious, often slow process of building a good foundation is often what we misinterpret in our own lives and relationships.
Looking back on painful life and relationship experiences (haunting job experiences, huge letdowns from “friends,” betrayals, rejections, and heartache), I realized that without them, the foundation I have today would be nonexistent. Further, the home within myself would be an emotional and spiritual shack built on sand–blowing down with the slightest change in the weather.
Whether we want to admit it or not, these carvings in our soil are preparation for a firm foundation in life–a life on which we can build a beautiful dwelling. This is a dwelling that does not blow down with the slightest change, and it goes wherever we go. It is the dwelling of Love. It is the dwelling of wisdom. It is the dwelling of trust. How do you learn to love? You learn to give and receive forgiveness. And how do you learn to forgive and receive forgiveness? By being offended and hurt and by realizing how you have hurt others.
A truly strong foundation is created over long periods of time. It is messy. It is not pretty. It is honest. A strong foundation cannot look pretty and be strong at the same time. IPSO FACTO.
I think it is time that we–all of humanity–stop looking at something that is “not attractive” as “bad.” Foundations are not aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. However, without them, no strong, beautiful, and lasting edifices would exist.
In your life, do you look back and see “messy”? Do you see annoying habits, heartache, mistakes, imperfections, frustrations, disappointments, and hours upon hours of “pouring” time into one weakness?
If you see these things in your past or in your present, be thankful. See them as gifts from God. Gifts from life. You are in the process of building an unshakable foundation. Your roots are growing deep. Your shelter will protect many, and when the storms of life come, you will not be blown over.