The right building materials makes a difference

Friday, August 31, 2018

By the Rev. Sandy


First United Methodist Church

Lately, I have been thinking about the uses for cardboard boxes. Did you know that you can watch videos on YouTube about ways to construct castles, forts, even cities using boxes? I watched an advertisement from the Florida Department of Citrus on how to build a box fort as a way to promote healthy families.

Recently, I read online that the ordinary old cardboard box is in the National Toy Hall of Fame. Most parents know from experience, if you give a child a cardboard box, they will spend hours turning it into a castle, clubhouse, a boat, race car, even a time machine. Playing with cardboard boxes helps children develop their imaginations and teaches them to be resourceful. They feel empowered by their own abilities. I read that playing with cardboard boxes helps children develop spatial awareness. Playing with boxes also helps children create a place of comfort and security. It is pretty remarkable what you can do with an ordinary cardboard box.

Our church recently held a box building extravaganza. Parents and children came together and created two remarkable box forts. It was fun to watch them putting the forts together with duct tape. They even drew designs on the inside of their forts. I learned something else about cardboard forts the day after the event. Choosing your building materials makes a difference. I’m not sure if it was the humidity in the building that made the tape less adhesive, but the next morning, the forts had collapsed. They looked amazing while they were standing, but the materials were not made to last.

Jesus said that the person who heard his words and acted on them would be like a wise man who built his house on rock. “The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.” (Matthew 7:25 NRSV) The foundation for a strong faith is built upon our relationship with Christ. The Apostle Paul told believers something similar, writing in 1 Corinthians 3:10-14 that they must choose carefully the foundation of their faith because “the work of the builder will become visible” on the day when Christ returned. He encouraged them to choose the foundation of their lives wisely.

Living in challenging times, the cardboard box forts at our church reminded me that not every building material is made to last. Jesus’ words challenge all of us to examine our own lives.

Are we building on a foundation of faith or will our choices turn out to be flimsy and collapse when we face tragedy or trouble? The good news is that by turning to Christ, we can turn our lives around. With faith we can construct lives that last no matter the challenges to come.