Friday, August 06, 2010

The House Your Heart Built

There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything.

- Evelyn M. Wallace April 2010

When I saw these two funnies in the newspaper only days apart it made me think of one particular parable of Jesus in the sixth chapter of Luke. I prefer this rendering of the parable (as opposed to Matthew 7) because it appears that Jesus is not speaking of a house but a castle. It is because of this parable that I believe I started to become interested in architecture as a very young girl almost without my complete realization. One could say that this parable is very close to my heart because it is so personally relevant to all of us. We not only live in houses (or castles !) we are houses in and of ourselves. In 1st Corinthians 3:16 it states... Do you not know that you are the temple of a Living God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you ? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. Jesus referred to his own person as a temple on several occasions, too.

If you examine the parable I mentioned in Luke it reads this way:

Whosoever cometh to me, and hears my sayings and doeth them I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house and digged deep and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose the stream beat vehemently upon that house and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that hears and doeth not is like a man that, without a foundation, built a house upon the earth: against which the stream did beat vehemently and immediately it fell and the ruin of that house was great.

I have wondered many times, when this parable is preached in churches, why the minister or preacher refers to the stream as a storm. To me, a stream from a flood is not nearly as violent as a storm can obviously strike. A flood is not without warning, which in some ways is the insidious part, but it is more subtle. There is a great difference here which bears examination. My grandmother had a saying which she repeated often when I was quite little,

"It's not the first crack that breaks the rock."

which means that it takes an awful lot of continuous application to something to make it work. It can also mean that if you hit a rock many times with medium force you will achieve the same results as if you had taken an iron hammer and struck with all your might. If we apply this principle to ourselves then it is important for us to realize that as we live and make choices we are building our selves and our lives. We can choose to follow previous instructions which obviously worked or do everything our own way and suffer the consequences that the vicissitudes of life can bring. The results of our choices will make a difference what kind of longevity we can enjoy and the quality of our lives. Our happiness will be tied to the success in the choices we made and each life which has become intricate with our own will also be affected.

Following the precedents of God is viewed almost with disdain in our so-called modern world. We see a lot of people who live mostly according to their own whims and fancies and they seem to do better than those who follow a strict code of behavior which is laid out very well in the Bible or in old social mores. One does not necessarily have to be religious to follow such codes and precedents. Perhaps it's because I tend not to take people at face value that I see holes and rips in the fabric of lives which don't hold to these standards. Their hearts don't appear loyal, they don't impart wisdom and they very seldom put down roots that last or take hold. This is the foundation of a life, however.

Your life is part of the inheritance that you give to your progeny. They follow in your footsteps, they emulate you and they never forget you. Eventually, they live right inside the house that your hands and your heart built. It's best we build that on a foundation which will hold them secure for a long time. We don't know if a stream or a storm is headed their way.

The Castle Lady, with a stream of kisses !