In the winter, my siblings and I will often make a snowman or two every once in a while. And while we’re not experts, we have learned a few things. We start at the bottom, building three rounds balls of snow, each successively small than the last. By doing this, we ensure that it’s not going to fall over. We find a relatively even patch of snow and roll the first ball into place. Then, slowly, we’ll hoist the second ball up on top after smoothing out a spot for it. Finally, after repeating the same process with the third, we have the basis for our snowman.
My brothers will often get sent inside for a baby carrot or an old scarf to adorn our snowman’s head with. I’ll grab some sticks from underneath our pine tree and my sister will gather up some pebbles or something similar. These make up the snowman, yes, but they’re simply decorations. We’ve already laid it’s foundations. Without the foundations we laid for the snowman, what would happen? It would crumble in days, likely within the hour. And what would become of its decorations? They would be nothing more than a frozen carrot, tattered scarf and a couple of rocks and sticks sitting in a drift.
What point would the things we grabbed–all our hard work–have without the foundations to build upon that the Snowman provided? It would be pointless. Void of meaning.
Think of our life as a snowman. The shape of the snowman is like our core, it’s who we are. Our qualities, memories, and our deepest identity wrapped up in a bow–our foundations. Our faith and the choices we make while we’re young: those are instrumental in forming our foundations. Without our foundations, all that stuff that comes on top of that, it’s worth so little in the long run.
Last week we had a ton of rain come through. The ground was saturated and soft, so by the time a massive thunderstorm actually came through, one decent-sized tree just down the road was easily uprooted and tossed into the middle of the street. Roots, tree, leaves, everything–gone. And it was all because the roots became weak. They let the storms of life dull them down until it was simple for a storm to uproot the entire oak.
How strong are our roots? What are we rooted in? Are we using these years of youth to strengthen our foundations, or are we weakening our roots to the point that we’ll be easily uprooted and swept away when we leave home?
Look at Daniel. He was likely our age and experienced things most of us won’t even see half of. He was captured, exiled, thrown into a Lion’s den for praying–but not once did his foundations crumble. Why? It’s because he knew who laid the foundations: God. And when you surrender the driver seat, God gets to be the architect, building your foundations up brick by brick into something that will never fall.
How strong are your foundations?
to be continued…