This weekend I went off to visit a friend who has bought a beautiful house in
. It’s been everything she has wanted for a very long time so it was lovely to see her walking around her very own land planning where the chickens and the sheep are going to live. It got me thinking about the idea of building a life, which seems to be something that people of my age do a lot of and get very anxious about when it doesn’t seem to be going quite right. It’s the age where many huge decisions are made like who you will spend your life with, the job you will do, if you will have children and when, where you will set up home and live. Cornwall
Materially it would be easy for me to conclude that I’m not building much of a life at all. I don’t own a house, nor am I likely to any time soon. I’m not on any kind of career ladder. I spent last week compiling a list of VIPs to be invited to the service to install our new Vicar and I’m unlikely to even get a seat at the service let alone an honourable mention! I suppose being married gives me something to ‘tick of the list’ but I’d be rather more tempted to just rip up the list altogether. But what I hope I am doing is digging the foundations for the future in who I am as a person and the kind of life I want to look back on when I’m old and grey.
All this house building reminds me of the parable Jesus told of the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built it on the sand.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
There are lots of things that are shifting sand to build on (seeking to be on that VIP list for one!) and I don’t want the house that is my life to fall with a great crash. I want to stand firm when the storms come and come they will - I know that much is guaranteed.
My friend’s house is very beautiful and will become more beautiful over the years as they tend their garden, revive their pond and make the land productive again. Although my house building isn’t quite so visible I hope that it will be just as real and just as fruitful for me. That I will reach the place I look forward to in the end, a wise old lady in a rocking chair with peace in my heart, a twinkle in my eye and plenty of stories to tell.