Scott the Builder
What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie. Acts 13:25
Last weekend, a buddy and I set out to build a fence. It was a small project, and so, I assumed that 3-4 hours would be more than enough time to dig the holes and set the posts. We rented a two-man post hole digger (a horrible torture device) and set out to build. A few hours later, after multiple contusions, a lot of laughter, and some frustration, we had yet to complete one hole. As every root we hit was bigger than the last, it became apparent that we weren’t going to get where we wanted to go with our limited skills and equipment.
In building – or attempting – to build that fence, my buddy asked how long I thought it would stand. Would this fence fall down in five years? Or, were we building something that would last for decades? Would we look at that fence in our 70s and remember building it?
That kind of thinking always makes me consider the point of my life. At the end, will I look back and be content with how I lived? What will others remember? Will God be pleased? Am I now living in such a way that I can be proud of my legacy?
In today’s passage, Paul reflected on John the Baptist’s life-purpose. In quoting John, he described a man whose life served as a beacon that pointed others to Christ. Though he was a successful prophet, attracting hundreds of followers, he didn’t lead others to himself. He gave his life, sacrificing everything, to direct others to Christ.
I’m never going to be known as a fence builder. It’s tempting though to want to be remembered for being a respected physician and upstanding member of the community. Those aren’t necessarily bad things but hidden in that statement is the desire to live a life pointed at myself. As a Christian though, my life isn’t about me. My life, like John the Baptist’s life, is supposed to be a beacon, pointing others to Christ, faith, and recovery.
We did eventually come back with heavy equipment and finish that fence. Still, it’s a little wonky and just might fall over in five years. Long after that fence is gone though, whatever we do for God’s kingdom will still be standing. Do we love God? Do we love our neighbors? Those are the things that truly matter.