I am a hard worker. It is one way I identify myself. Those who know me best know that I am a relentlessly hard worker. Of course, as with us all, there are things I prefer to work at, but I will do what needs to be done with strength and fervor until my goal is accomplished and the task completed. It is a work ethic I learned from my Dad and I believe that God built into me. The Bible states that whatever we do we are working for God and not man because we are really serving God no matter what we work at. That to me is a powerful concept. I am not afraid to sweat, actually barely notice it when I am working, I am very strong and firmly know I can accomplish any task given me and I am not proud- no job is too small or dirty to do. This is who I am. I pour myself into everything I do. I forget to eat or rest or even sleep sometimes. Now, all this is just background information. It is facts. I am not bragging because there are serious problems with this extreme work ethic. My kids have to sometimes remind me they are there. I realize I haven’t called or written my best people in weeks. I am starving by the end of the day and am so dehydrated I have a headache. Lots of things, pretty important things, I do wrong. I carry it too far. And I realized after two years of projects that we hadn’t taken a vacation during that time. So, my loving husband and I packed up the kids and the stuff and stayed on the beach for a few days. And for a few hours, I was stir crazy, thinking I would go batty on the beach all day. And then my toes dug into the sand watching my kids play in the surf and it happened. I looked around and realized I have been missing things. In my plight to accomplish and prove my worth and get things done and be found amazingly competent, I missed many sand in the toes moments with my family. I missed many “Wow, look at this cool thing God made” moments with my kids, even though we still had some. And I am going to make a mental priority of relaxing together- playing one board game, swing on the porch swing, sit together more for meals, whatever, with my family every day. Life zooms on by in our business if we let it. We must not let it.
I just finished reading Matthew 7, and at the end of the chapter where He speaks of building our house on either sand or rock and what the consequences will be of either choice. I thought about this a new way and I always believe that the Holy Spirit teaches you something new each time you read a verse through. So, my thought was a picture of two houses side by side, very carefully building their lovely homes on what each considers solid rock. No one would be stupid enough to build on sand on purpose, right? My thinking is that the guy’s foolishness was not that he was building on what ended up being sand but that he was duped by not doing diligent research himself to determine the validity of the claim that what looked like rock was indeed sand. Perhaps this foolish man took a trickster’s word for it instead of asking the right people the right questions or reading up on the nature of the rock found in that area, etc. Perhaps he was a fool because he deluded himself and talked himself to believing this was rock and safe because it was available and he didn’t want to go to the trouble of finding another building site. Perhaps the sand had been carefully mounded up with the right amount of water and paint and even a rock veneer to seem realistic and the man believed it rather than testing it. Maybe the man bought it site unseen and then was too prideful to admit he had done something wrong and built on the site anyway out of pride. Any of those scenarios would still be foolish. The only rock we are to build on is Christ. There may be people who go out of their way to represent Him to you but they are clever disguises. Some may be the enemy’s pawns and try to mislead or deceive you into trusting them or something/someone other than Christ to build your life around. Some may trick you or your own pride will not allow you to base your life on Christ after making mistakes or bad choices because you don’t want to lose face. Maybe you’d rather believe a person than pray and read your Bible yourself. But if you are wise and if I am wise, we will pray and read our Bibles and humble ourselves to ask Christ to be the strength of our lives and shelter us from the elements. Then we can stand up against any storm.