Sandra Miller was at work when her daughter called from their home with alarming news. The concrete foundation was crumbling and, as a result, her house was gradually collapsing.
Across nearly 20 towns in northeastern Connecticut, a slow-motion disaster is unfolding as local officials and homeowners wrestle with an extraordinary phenomenon. More than 30,000 Connecticut homes are at risk of having their foundations crumble out from under them. Home foundations that have been poured since the 1980s are cracking with fissures so large you can slip a hand inside.
The foundation of any building is extremely important to the integrity of that structure.
The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, opened in Dubai January 4, 2010. At a staggering 2,717 feet tall, it easily overshadows the previous tallest building in Taipei, Taiwan which towers 1,671 feet. The Burj Khalifa stands double the height of the renowned Empire State Building.
While most attention focuses on its height, perhaps more important is what lies buried beneath the building. Without a solid foundation, the world’s tallest building would become the world’s longest pile of rubble. Extending 164 feet deep under the Burj Khalifa lies 58,900 cubic yards of concrete weighing over 120,000 tons. It took a year just to build the foundation.
So it is with great lives. What people see – what we marvel about – are the great heights to which some people seem to soar. Yet, supporting any truly great life is a solid foundation.
- A distinguished career is built on foundational principles like dependability and hard work.
- A celebrated sixtieth wedding anniversary results from deep love and selflessness.
- Successful retirement depends on years of responsible money management.
The high value we place on the foundation of our lives cannot be over stated. Foundations matter!
I am always challenged by the stories Jesus told. As Jesus brought his famous Sermon on the Mount to a close, he ended it with a short parable. Here’s what he said:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash,”
– Matthew 7:24-27, New International Version
In each story, each person faces a storm. We all have storms. But this is not a story about weather. It is not a lesson on finding a safe climate for growing your faith or your family. It’s not a warning to avoid storms, but encouragement to build houses that outlast storms.
This parable is about choosing a foundation to build your life on. The question this parable raises is this: If you do not choose to trust in Christ and his word as the foundation of your life, then what do you propose to build your life upon?