Friday, April 18, 2014

Building... by Ben Hazlett

Quite often, when discussing various professions, my father-in-law will say something like "well you know who else was a carpenter and a fisherman, don't ya?"  What are you supposed to say to that...

Luckily, I can try to compete a little  by saying that Jesus healed people who couldn't speak and fed the multitude with only a few pieces of food.  As a speech-language pathologist, everyday I teach people to both speak and eat.

However, now we have launched into the building an addition to the house that will add a "father-in-law suite.  This will hopefully give him a nice private space to escape from the constant flying of airplanes and noise making doll houses... not to mention the noise making kids that invariably go with them.

Since we just poured the foundation for this addition yesterday, I have been forced to begin to draw even more comparisons to carpentry and The Carpenter.  First, you have to have a plan.  Even after over 40 years of construction experience, Verl still uses blueprints.  Although, he has the uncanny ability to memorize every measurement on the plans and then barely need to refer to them.  Next you need the master.  Without Verl, those blue prints wouldn't even be able to compete with our 4 year old son's artwork for fridge space.

After those things are inplace you need a foundation.  I have seen this done a couple of times, but until now I have never participated.  I have been shocked at how much preparation, time, and materials it has taken.   But I get it now.  If I'm going to let my family live in this house, it had better have a strong foundation.

Next will come framing, roofing, sheet rock, plumbing, electrical, tile, cabinets, carpet and finish work.  Each one of those steps has to be completed and inspected and all under the direction of the master builder.

I know, this is the point at which I would normally start spouting off how this applies to our lives and how making it through the addition without either falling off the roof or stepping on another nail is a symbol for success in life.  Well, a much better writer beat me too it so I will defer to him:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

Not that I am admitting any comparisons here, but since Easter is this weekend, I guess it's okay to continue with the metaphor. I pray that the Master Builder, who laid down his life and suffered for my sins, will continue to help me with my spiritual homebuilding.  He has the plans and doesn't need to refer to them but wants me to, He has paid the price for the work to be done, He laid the foundation, and now with his help the rest is up to me.  I hope there aren't too many nails along the way.

"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12)