Ah the house. That's what we call the current project that has taken over EVERY spare minute (do I have any spare minutes?) of our time as of late. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that we are building our own home. It is so much fun to design something from the ground, or in our case, below the ground and up. But...it is a LOT of work. As overwhelmed as I become with it at moments, I try to spend even more moments thanking God for this tremendous opportunity. As with all things, He is using it to speak to me.
Lately the task at hand has been all things electrical. When Nelson announced to me that we would be going over electrical plans with our project manager New Year's night after the kids were in bed, I casually told him to go ahead without me. Quite frankly, I could care less where he put the lights and outlets...or so I thought. It was definitely not on my list of things to design for the house.
Of course, Nelson refused to let me out of that meeting assuring me that I would be very interested in all things electrical. Lovingly, I obliged. Four hours into the meeting, I realized that most things electrical did indeed matter to me.
I was dumbfounded at the amount of thought that was necessary. I discovered that you can't just say you want lights in every room. Decisions about recessed lights, sconces, fans, lamps and pendant lighting clouded my mind. Not only that but where all those lights will go, whether or not they should dim, where they will plug in, and where they can be turned off and on. Countless hours have gone into this.
Tonight it occurred to me that building a house is a lot like our Christian walk. For the most part we're not interested in the wires and pipes that go between the walls and under the floors. We don't want to spend all that time planning for things invisible to the eye. We want to pick out the things people see like wall color, furniture and art - the fun stuff.
What we forget is that before we can paint the walls, they have to be sheet rocked, and before that wired and plumbed, and before that framed, and before that planned and measured. It's a very real (pardon the pun here) building experience. You can't skip a step without having a serious disaster on your hands. Without all the prior work there would be no light. And without light, no one would be able to see the color of the walls, the leather on your couch or the painting on your wall because it would be very, very dark.
The same is true in our spiritual journey. Most of us look for mountain top experiences. We want lightening flashes, a booming voice from Heaven and yes, Heaven itself. What we sometimes forget is that in order to see the lightning or hear the voice, we have to build our faith. If there is no foundation, we could be in the midst of a spiritual storm so to speak and never even realize it.
Glory requires sacrifice and suffering. Just look at Jesus. Before Easter, there was Good Friday. Think about the saints. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta didn't get invited to speak to political powers and dignitaries because she lived a glorious life. She picked up dying people crawling with worms from the gutters. John Paul the Great was a servant to his death bed. When most of us would have given in to the pain and gone home to rest, he reached out to the public and was a witness to everyone he touched.
I need to remember that in order to radiate Christ on the outside, I have a lot of hard work to do on the inside. I need to do some assessing, studying and building of my own faith if I want others to be able to see His glory in me.
Let’s all make sure we’ve got our wires connected and The Power turned on in our hearts. Let’s allow Christ’s light to shine through us.