Building the Foundation
Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10
Over the weekend, we made one of our snow sculptures, the picture of which I’ll include here (full disclosure – the kids aren’t as interested as they used to be so mostly it’s just me out there playing in the snow). Occasionally, I’m asked how I make the arches out of snow. It’s not terribly difficult. I first build a foundation of a solid wall, and then when it’s frozen together, I just cut out the shape of an arch with a saw. I’ve tried to build arches without a solid foundation under them, but I’ve failed. Without the initial foundation, there’s nothing to hold the weight of the top of the arch as you put it in place. It’s like trying to build the top of a pyramid without ever placing a foundation beneath it – it’s just not possible.
I’ve tried to do the same thing in my spiritual life. I’ve gone to God, asking him for help with be the big decisions in life: What college should I attend? What job should I take? Where should I live? I knew I was supposed to follow God’s will, so I took these big decisions to him. The problem was that I wasn’t really following him with the rest of my life. Instead, I followed my appetite in the day-to-day decisions, and only when I didn’t know what to do with the big decisions, did I ask God for wisdom. I was trying to place that final piece of the snow arch or pyramid in place without ever building the foundation.
In today’s passage, Paul described the foundation upon which we must build our lives. In it, he said that as followers of Christ, we must walk in the light which means that we must daily think, do, and say that which is good, right, and true. In our day-to-day decisions, we must continually abandon our will for God’s.
We often think that following God means doing something crazy, like moving away to some third-world orphanage. That may be the case for some, but God’s will isn’t usually so dramatic or mysterious. Most often, it means abandoning our self-destructive behavior to follow God, being honest, kind, and loving right where we are. For some, this will mean getting sober. To others, it will mean being less selfish with our time and money so that we may love our neighbors. Then, as we begin to pursue all that is good, right, and true in the daily decisions, we’ll begin to see God’s will in those big life decisions more clearly.