Saturday, March 5, 2011
Building on the Rock
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”Matthew 6:24-27
We are in the process of packing this house up so that we can move ourselves and our personal belonging to live by the ocean and to be with my Mom. We are a block from the ocean and the world is covered with sand. Every time I walk by the ocean I am reminded how fragile the sand is, how it shifts and flies with each tide, and how the whole of life can be shattered by winds, floods and storms. The old house we will share has been moved several times to protect it from destruction. I have lived through many hurricanes there and listened with my head buried in pillows as the storm howled like a freight train through the night. The next morning, after the worst was over, you could wander hip deep in water, as bits of other people's lives floated by in the streets. We will live in a fragile environment that deserves respect and care.
Jesus is teaching his disciples and reminds them of the true consequences of being shallow, selfish and disrespectful. So many people, with a little bit of money, think they are better than others and know it all. They build on the sand so they can own what they think paradise. Too often their lives are folly, there is no ground under them and the slightest storm destroys everything. Building on God's love is the only secure and permanent ground for us. The rock is not sleek nor seductive or supple like warm sand. It is sometimes almost foreboding to gaze upon. And yet real love and the source of that love in God is solid ground and permanence that is unmoving despite all the changes and pilgrimages of life.
Today I ask God to make me grateful for this life on this day. I ask to be embedded in the rock, not seeking glamor or fame but permanence and rooted in love. May my heart and mind be so fixed on loving God and others that the temporary bumps we face may seem only like a summer rain. May we all be grateful for the unshakable, unmovable love of God which is our strength and stay through every storm of life.