January 12, 2009
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." --Psalm 127:1
Years ago, a former colleague became a licensed home builder. She studied for and passed the state licensing exam. She and her husband decided to build a new house and chose not to hire a general contractor. So, she became the general contractor after obtaining her license. She hired all of the subcontractors, oversaw their work, and ordered supplies as needed. She insured all work was up to code and in compliance with local standards. The result was a beautiful home at a reduced price with few post-completion repairs.
As much as I enjoy making long term plans and creating a sense of direction and safety in accomplishing my goals, it just isn't always possible. After spending the first weeks of this year being bombarded by news reports about the dire state of the economy, I am almost ready to forget about five or three year plans. There is just too much uncertainty to think I can project more than twelve months out.
Still, when you are responsible for yourself and others, you must think ahead. This psalm reminds me that I am not alone in preparing for the future. My possibilities are not limited by my current knowledge, creativity, ideas, relationships, and resources. The LORD builds my house. It is on ongoing process. I am not responsible for (or capable of) selecting the dimensions, location, and positioning of the house. Will it face north or south? How many floors and rooms? How large a lot?
The LORD builds my house as I allow Him to direct my conversation, my energies and time, my hopes and plans, my relationships. He builds a house that is right for me so I don't labor in vain. Work must be done and goals must be met, but I don't labor in vain. It seems like it at times, but it's never true. As I settle into 2009, I willingly embrace the LORD as the licensed builder of my life. He is qualified, fully capable, and willing. It's going to be hard work on my end, but none of it will be in vain.