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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

F is for Foundation

Every building has a foundation. The building would crumble without it.

Jesus talks about the two foundations, sand and rock in Matthew 7:24-27. “Everyone who listens to these words of min and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock…it did not collapse…it had been set solidly on rock.” He goes on to describe what happens to a house built on sand, “…it was completely ruined.”

Matthew 7 isn’t only place Jesus talks of foundation.

We hear in Matthew 21:42 Jesus quoting Psalm 118:22, telling the people, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Jesus makes it clear that foundation is everything.

So how do we pass this on to our children?

Faith and Love.

Jesus is Love. He demonstrated that throughout his time on earth and especially his sacrifice on the cross. When we share Jesus’ love, we are building foundation.

Jesus also left us the keys to true faith in the Golden Rule, the Beatitudes and the Sacraments. These basic tenets also grow a foundation.

If we live out love and faith, we are being examples for our children. If we gently encourage them to take on these attitudes, we will be passing on the stepping stones for creating a groundwork built upon rock.

Our pastor asked a question once that still strikes me today. He asked the congregation, “What is the foundation of your existence?”

Every time I look into the eyes of my children, I am reminded of that question. And I am reminded that my most important task is to pass that foundation on to them with the same passion to which I adhere.

There is no doubt that this task can seem insurmountable some days, especially when our kids argue, they misbehave or they are just grumpy. We begin to despair that we will never get through to them. But that is the lie of the enemy.

There is a lovely little book called, The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees. The author Nicole Johnson describes something that I remember when tending to my children’s foundation. She notes that many of the European cathedrals took over a hundred years to finish. She also comments that the builders, “devoted their whole lives to a work they would never see finished.” (pg 38, The Invisible Woman).

It is the same with our children. We will not see with our human eyes the completion of the work with regard to our children. Year after year we will toil and we will help them build their foundations. And just like the builders of the great cathedrals, we may only see a few pillars or stone floors being laid down in our children. We may not be destined to see the piercing rays of the sun burst through their stained glass windows. But that’s okay.

It is our fate to only see so much. We must toil on, so that someday when someone asks them, “What is the foundation of your existence?” they will be able to answer without hesitation…God.

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