Archive for January, 2011

Solid Rock vs. Sinking Sand

Posted: January 16, 2011 by clairer in Purpose, Trusting God

Everyone loves January because it gives the impression of a “fresh start.” People can start exercise programs and claim they’ve exercised every day of the year so far (which in reality might have only been a couple of days). People can start new Bible reading plans and resolve that this year will be the year they actually read through the whole Bible. New semesters begin and people can start over: new classes, new teachers, new friends. The new year presents endless possibilities.

But as January is passing us by, and New Year’s resolutions begin to fall through the cracks, I think there is a very important question that most of us forget to ask ourselves at the start of the year: what are we building our lives on this year? What is our foundation?

I’m starting my next semester at college and already I’m being faced with the decisions of how to spend my time. Do I hang out with friends? Do homework? Do extracurricular activities? I seem to have endless options and opportunities. How I spend my time will be very revealing of what I am building my year around. If I’m building my year around getting a 4.0 GPA, I’m going to spend a significant amount of time studying. If I’m building my year around friends, I will be spending my time hanging out and scheduling social events. If I’m centering my year on winning a debate tournament or getting into a school play, I will spend my time doing those things. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be there also.” In the same way, where I spend my time, will determine where my heart — my foundation — will be.

But as I’m surveying my schedule for the semester ahead and looking back at the semester I just finished, I’m realizing that I don’t want my foundation to be in grades, activities, or friends. While these things may be good, they’re not a sure foundation.  Grades can go up and down; activities come and go; and, even friends — though a precious gift — can fail us, at times. If I build my semester, my year, or my life on these things, there is a good chance that my whole world will, at some point, come crashing down around me.

Last semester, I tried to build my world around these things…and at first, it seemed to work. I made good friends, got good grades, and enjoyed a few extracurricular activities. But by the end of the semester, my little world started to crumble. There were some social tensions amongst my friends and final exams that I was feeling unprepared for. My foundations started to shift and sink and I didn’t know what to do.

What happened for me to get to this point? I had been building my foundation on the wrong things. My devotional times with God had begun to slip through the cracks. I would rather have spent my time with friends than with my Best Friend. I began to find my identity in grades rather than finding it in being God’s child. I’d been building my life on temporary and fallible things instead of on the eternal and infallible God.

Of course, making new friends and working on school were not bad things for me to be doing. The problem came when I began to base my value and identity on — and place my trust and hope in — those things rather than in God.

I think often times this can happen in our lives. We get so wrapped up in the good things that God has given us, that we forget who gave them to us and why (to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever). We place our trust in the gifts rather than the giver. We base our lives on worldly foundations rather than on God.

But this is such a mistake! Why would we choose to build our lives on “sinking sand” (as the Bible puts it) when we have a solid foundation? Why trust solely in people when people can change or make mistakes? Why trust in grades when the mind (and occasionally even a teacher) is fallible? We have a God who never changes, never makes mistakes. We have a God who will always listen to us when we pray to Him, who will always love us, who will never leave us nor forsake us. He is the Rock who never shifts, shakes, or breaks. So why would we base our lives on anything other than that Rock?

It’s great for people to be making all sorts of resolutions about how they are going to improve themselves for the next year ahead. But as you’re making all these resolutions, be sure to ask yourself why you’re making them. What are these resolutions revealing about your foundation? If they aren’t God-motivated or God-focused, they should be. Is God your foundation this year? If not, that should be your #1 resolution.

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