When I was a kid, I had a neighbor boy who had huge cardboard building blocks I thought were just amazing. I think I actually got to play with them only one time, but they were a lot of fun, because with the same time and effort it took to build a tiny city with traditional blocks, with these you could build an entire nearly-life-sized fort!
But really, bigger wasn’t better. Those blocks fell as easily as little wooden ones, and if you made the mistake of stepping on one or falling into your fort, you would find those massive blocks could easily be crushed and left worthless.
I’m of the understanding that commercial and residential building has been down because of the slow economy, yet I see people building everywhere. You probably see it, too; people building their dreams, constructing hopes and confidences in jobs, in money, in possessions, in other individuals. Often what they’re building looks beautiful, but they seem unaware how temporal it is. A single phone call, one bad storm, one pink slip, and every bit of it could be gone.
I watch the construction from the perspective of a believer in Christ and I see the foolishness of the world as they build their hopes on things that aren’t lasting–new cars, fancy houses, peace, popularity, health, youth, relationships. But sometimes when I really evaluate the state of my own mind and heart and hope, I find myself also relying far too greatly today on things that could easily slip away tomorrow. And I’m reminded again to take inventory of my hopes and my confidences to ensure that they are solely built on Christ.
This old song has been going over and over in my mind. Call me old-fashioned, but I still adore the old hymns for their beautiful language because I’m a lover of words, but for the depth of doctrine and Biblical truth they so often contain as well. Read some of the old hymns and, my apologies to modern song writers, but Christian music of our day rarely compares in value of message.
These words were penned by Edward Mote, an English minister of the 19th century, who grew up the neglected child of London pub owners. By his own accounts he was a child little cared for and left to fend for himself much of the time. “So ignorant was I that I did not know that there was a God,” he once said. But Edward met the God of all grace as a teenage and some 37 years later took his first pastorate in Horsham, England, at the age of 55. He wouldn’t miss a Sunday in the pulpit for the next 21 years.
I love these words…