Since January of this year my wife and I have been watching a house go up, our house, one that we’re not yet living in but within the next couple of months or so will call “home,” one that began as an empty lot. Then one day it was cleared of its refuse, sculpted from unevenness into a levelness upon which footings for the foundation were set. Then a slab, with red, white, and blue plumbing pipes projecting upwards, followed by the framing for walls, then the upstairs was set upon the joists, from which rose the second floor’s studs, over which the roof framing took shape, then decking and shingles.
Then a funny thing happened: it seemed like nothing was happening. Oh sure, the perfunctory well-worn pickup or van would park in front of the rough structure to empty its professional artisans with their wares. But we couldn’t see any changes in the house. The outside, the form, the edifice had risen fast and the changes were obvious, nearly daily. But now we had to go inside to see the progress, which wasn’t so readily obvious to our big picture eyes.
The plumber had returned to finish his detail work and also to plumb the fireplace. The
electricians had been busy drilling holes and feeding miles of wiring through studs and joists to switches and light fixtures. A lot of work was happening, but it wasn’t obvious to the eye. Yet, without this fine work our house could not be the home we hope for.
It’s not unlike that, building people. The obvious changes, the plain-to- see growth happens noticeably with the customary marks on walls and new clothing or shoes or backing up to mom or dad to measure up. But unless the inside stuff happens too—education, social understanding, spiritual development, and all the other quiet but necessary things that make for a full, humane, and livable life—then all we get is a nice-looking outside with nothing to give life to it. All we get is a shell, a substance-less life-form that just sits there looking accomplished enough but which is really incomplete,
even nonfunctional, a fine looking structure that’s vacant and inoperable.
What kind of wiring do you have? What has gone into your outside that makes you not just a mortal being, but a human being, a person, the unique rising that God hopes you will be? What is it about you that makes you such a livable person, someone filled with warmth and hospitality and hope?
What—or who—are you building with your life?