Three laborers were working on a rock pile at a construction site. A passer-by asked each laborer what he was doing. One replied, “Breaking rocks.” Another replied, “Earning my living,” while the third said, “I’m helping to build a cathedral.” (Lee Strobel, Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary, Zondervan, 1993) His point is that “Christians who live a life of adventure are able to see themselves as cathedral builders…people who are part of a greater vision of building God’s kingdom.”
Being a Christian is the greatest adventure in the universe! Take it from someone who has ridden in a taxi in Rome, visited South Ft. Worth after dark, been lost in a state park, been on the other end of a leash tied to a huge dog chasing a cat, hung out of a plane taking pictures of the Great Barrier Reef, baby-sat with three kids who were all throwing-up simultaneously, had several close encounters with poisonous snakes, driven in Dallas during the evening rush and a bunch of other stuff you’re probably not interested in.
Nothing compares to being a Christian in the twenty-first century! We are faced with both daunting challenge and magnificent opportunity. What will God do with and through His people in this new millennium? It is a vision of kingdom building that defies imagination.
Some trade their whole life for a garage full of storage files. They can pull folders from the files containing the record of their lives written in receipts for what they bought. They busted their buns for stuff and pleasure with photographic evidence. Others have diligently pursued collections of honors, accolades, experiences, stamps, coins, conquests, baseball cards, ad infinitum. See the plaques on the wall?
But here’s the question: When it comes time to take stock of our life’s purpose, will we think back on breaking rocks, making a living or cathedral building? Will we have to sum it all up in the accumulated insignificant debris in our storage files of life? Will it be as the words of Macbeth upon being told of the death of the queen?
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
The choice is ours.
Jesus cuts to the chase when he warns, “For not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15) He tells the story of the Rich Fool hoarding his grain and his goods for a retirement of ease. He’s worked hard. He’s earned it. Now it’s time for him and the missus to do a little traveling, a little puttering around the house. That night he dies and all his “stuff” goes to someone who didn’t work for it.
Audit time comes for us all and there is one question we should answer now instead of then. When God examines the account of our life, what will it consist of?