Julie and I enjoy watching channel 46 that has all those "fixer upper" shows where an expert craftsman comes in to either upgrade, remodel or completely make over a disaster caused by a very incompetent or shady builder.
Whether or not I want to get angry at those who take advantage of novice homeowners is not as important as the satisfaction I feel when the job is complete. The best words of advice are, "Build it right the first time."
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27), Jesus teaches about the foolish man who builds his house on sand. You might envision someone who wants to save money by refusing to dig footers, lay in rebar and pour concrete before putting up the walls. Every time I read this passage, I remember a man who built a wonderful retirement home at the edge of Big Pass in Sarasota, Florida. I know he could see himself sitting on his lanai and watching the sun set over his beach front. I also remember watching that same house swept away by the tides because he had failed to spend the necessary money to build a secure foundation.
I don't believe that Jesus was speaking about home building. In this wonderful simile, analogy or metaphor (pick your own), I believe Jesus was going deeply into the human failure called "mediocrity." He could have said, "Of course, you can be satisfied with carelessness, lack of planning, no imagination, little curiosity and a 'just enough to get by' mentality as you build your life. But what happens when life goes sour, there is no help available and you must depend upon your own integrity, courage and raw tenacity to survive?"
In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as a Tekton in the Greek. Sometimes, I believe we have been taught that this word should be translated as a carpenter. Let me suggest that there is a better and very profound possibility of choice: craftsman, scholar or architect. I love the last choice: architect. My collegiate dictionary defines architect as a person who designs and guides a plan for construction.
Now let me take a great leap of faith and suggest that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, is using a remarkable method of teaching those listeners how to go about building a life that can survive even the most difficult of imaginable disasters. Now we have two choices: do it the easy and least painful way or do it the hard and more secure way. We can just slap up our life the quickest way so we can get all the good stuff right now, or we can build on a foundation of faith, trust, good works, honesty, integrity, responsibility and accountability. Let's be completely honest: we can buy an embossed diploma that looks good on a wall, but we can't buy the education it takes to earn the right to display a diploma.
Let's be very pragmatic. It takes a lot of work to earn the right to be called Mom or Dad, teacher, engineer, craftsman, leader, professional, you name it. These folks have proven their mettle through years of trial and error, failure and success, that they can stand the test.
Finally, life is to be fully lived and this can only happen when that perfect scholar, architect and craftsman is allowed to build the foundation on which the life begins and ultimately ends.
Who is that perfect Tekton, that scholar, architect and craftsman?
I open my home to Jesus to rebuild, remodel and renew. Jesus is my foundation for life.