I love living in the wild west. There is definitely a learning curve to home ownership out here, though. One good thing about the high altitude, there are no cockroach problems. Having grown up in the south, where they are your constant 2-inch tenants that don’t pay rent, I just don’t miss the nasty things. Blech. On the downside, there are major soil problems here in Colorado. Problems like expansion, sinking and settling. The only issue we have experienced personally was some minor settling, under our front porch, and we were blessed that it didn’t affect the structural integrity of our home’s foundation. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to enrich the lives of those of you out there who are ignorant of a lovely process called Mudjacking. If you’ve never heard of it, be prepared to be fascinated! Or, not… but, if you’re so inclined, I’d also like to hit on a spiritual condition I’ve been experiencing lately.
First, the weird, clayish, impossible-to-dig-a-hole-in dirt out here sinks over time with some liquid catalyst…like rain or snow. It could look like this:
Please note how the soil has sunken a couple of inches below the base of the porch. Fabulous.
So, to fill it back up with dirt they drill holes in the concrete
Then, your porch looks more like it ought…with some perfectly appropriate concrete to dirt contact…
No more void. It is a good thing. We were fortunate to have such a minor repair. Often, when the dirt expands or contracts from the foundation it causes cracking and structural damage. Now, that sounds like something I can relate to. ‘Cause I am me, and I look for weird lessons in everything. And, the earth below me has felt a little shaken lately, and I must admit it has left me feeling a little shaken.
Let’s begin with defining a good foundation. In Matthew chapter 7, Jesus describes a solid foundation, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who build 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.” (vs.24-27) Sounds like rock is the better foundation choice over sand. Practically, what does that look like in the life of a person? It begins with the only rock or stone that was intended for eternal purposes. “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” (Isaiah 28:16) Jesus the Messiah is the precious cornerstone. Once we trust in Him, we evidence our foundation in two ways. First, in hearing His words. But, it is not enough to hear…even the guy on the sand was a hearer of the Word. Hearing the word just puts the rock below the porch, but it doesn’t mean there’s any concrete to rock contact, if you get my meaning (like in the first picture above) It is still just sand. When the storms of life come, we will go down with a big crash. Our foundation is solid rock when we put feet on our faith and start doing what the Word says! If that is our daily practice, then we will not fall.
Lately, I have let my ‘busy’ness overcome what should be my priority, which is time surrendered to listening to and being alone with God and His word. I am letting this ‘stuff of earth’ push and compress and separate me from my foundation. On top of that, if I am not even hearing his words, that makes it exponentially more difficult to put them into practice. My detachment from a firm foundation has resulted in a lot of stress about little things that I am ashamed to admit have even been stressful…little things that are blessings and not even storms. Like family vacations, children’s activities, computers… (we could probably have a whole conversation on that last one, but for now, for these purposes, computers are a blessing. say it out loud, it helps)
The solution? Filling up the void with some good words. Committing to doing that regularly and consistently. Then, doing what they say. Putting them into practice.
I’m going to try a verse a week. Memorizing it (with my handy, dandy new index card holder – thank you, Darlene!) and being intentional about doing it. I am choosing something I struggle with sometimes when dealing with my children, who are perfect angels, except when they are not, especially on summer vacation – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) I hope to update you with my successes in this area, and since this is rather one-sided accountability, I promise to share my failures as well. I’d love for you to walk through this exercise with me and share your results, with the same verse or ones of your own choosing. It might seem like back to basics, but that is where the foundation is found.