Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I recently re-read this article I wrote way back in 2005! It was included in my book, There’s The Steeple… Here’s The Church!, and was just a cool reminder to me that if we want to be part of something “successful” (really successful) then it’s best to see where God is working and follow his lead. Sometimes we rush ahead, sometimes we hold on too long… but when we find the sweet spot, we see great stuff happen in and around us!
Hope this is encouraging to you, too, this second (or third!) time around 🙂
If You Build It…
How long does our stuff last? Just a thought before I hit the hay tonight.
How long did that fire for studying the Bible in the mornings with God last? How long did you keep praying for those missionaries every day? How long could you keep doing the good you wanted to do, or not doing the bad you didn’t want to do?
In our personal lives, fires come and go. The passion ignites, and drives for a time our desire to build something good. To do something with our lives.
At times, that translates to something outside of ourselves. Sometimes we have a good idea, and we run with it. Say perhaps a Bible study with friends. Every Wednesday night. We gather, we read, we study, we share, we can’t wait till next week. And then, after several good weeks, something else comes up and one person can’t make it, but the meeting goes pretty well. Then, after a few more absences, and an unspoken restlessness … like something’s not quite right… something has “changed”… eventually, the whole thing just falls apart.
This happens with most everything we try and put together. I play basketball with some guys on Wednesday mornings. Started out with me and another friend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We were there each of those days. Every week. But, that changed to Thursdays. In the meantime I added Wednesdays with some other guys. Last year, that was GREAT. We were there all the time. Playing hard. This year? I have been at the gym by myself on quite a few Wednesday mornings. Sometimes the other guys just don’t show up… sometimes they are busy elsewhere. Not really an issue, just a furtherance of my point.
If you build it… it will fall apart.
Whether it’s a basketball schedule, a Bible study, a small group, a church, a program, a sports league, an annual convention… eventually, it will die. Some things maintain their existence a bit longer, but is it really worth it for the church of 10 people to continue to expend time and money to maintain a building for them to meet in every Sunday? Is it really necessary to get a preacher to speak to them every week?
You see, for some reason we don’t understand that things are for a time. Solomon spoke of this in Ecclesiastes. “To everything there is a season…” It’s true. And the grand orchestra conductor is not me. Nor you. It is our Father who guides and directs all things in perfect harmony. Perfect unison. He knows what is next, and for how long.
I feel like I am in a different chapter of life right now. I don’t think that I was building something that crumbled. I think God is changing our circumstances for a new chapter. The old is not thrown away, but built on. The new is still not my idea, but something that He is leading, and providing.
I am not trying to make universal statements of truth tonight… just observations.
When we build it, it will usually – perhaps even always – fail. But, on the contrary, when HE builds it, it is beautiful and freeing and life-giving… and succeeds wildly (even if only for you).
And then we move on.
Life changes. He does not. Help me God to not place my trust in the things I build, but to watch and follow you as you build into and around me the things that you want to.