S179P13 – A life in parables: those built solidly

Lk. 6:46-49

Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.

Driving through the backlot, we were excited to see the scenes from our favorite movies and TV shows come to life.  The tram turned the corner after the entry gate where a few cars were parked in a small lot, and we recognized each one.  The first had been driven by a superhero, the second by some hapless ghost hunters, and the third by a teenage time traveler.  Each was apparently solid and authentic, but each was just a shell on wheels.  Up ahead was perhaps the most recognizable suburban house in entertainment.  As the road turned and wound around the home, I turned my head to notice the great deception.  The house was only two facades held up by empty framing, convincing on film but laughable in person.

We are fools when we think that we can fool the Lord himself.  It can be easy to put on a good show for our fellow man, and many will be able to maintain that for a long time.  If we keep others at arm’s length, if we let them see only certain sides of us, we can look solidly built.  Some people will not look closely enough or get close enough to us to realize what they are seeing.  God, however, sees it all.  It does not take the wind or storm to topple us in order for him to see what we have built.  He allows the tempest for the purpose of revealing our true state to us, but that revelation does not always prompt the correct response.  He wants us not to try to protect the useless facades but to let the shoddy houses fall so that we can rebuild on the proper foundation.

Before the hurricane approaches, the people will scramble with their sandbags and their sheets of plywood to protect their homes.  It only makes sense to put in the work to save the real houses.  It would be laughable to try and protect what looks like a house but really is only a shell without a foundation.  It provides no shelter, so there is no reason to save it.  Let the paper house fall, and start laying a real foundation.  Hear the words of the Lord, then put them into practice.  That is the only way to withstand the tempest, any tempest, every tempest until the last one.  Father, cause your words to fortify us, and reveal to us any false thing we have built and must let You destroy.