‘What really matters?’
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. Mark 7:24-25
What are the things in life that we can’t live without? Bees pollinate 70% of all crop species that feed 90% of the world. In addition, they produce an estimated $30 billion dollars in honey annually. Should bees be wiped out, the world may lose all plants that bees pollinate, all animals that consume those plants and so on up the food chain. Albert Einstein was quoted as suggesting that if bees disappeared from the face of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live. This theory has never been proven, but one thing for sure, we wouldn’t have apples, berries, avocados, mangoes, peaches, plums, nectarines, most nuts, apricots, watermelon, coconut, grapes and many other crops, where the pollination of a bee is essential.
I wonder what other things in life are essential, such that they form the building block of life itself. Obviously water, oxygen, gravity, sunlight and many more aspects in life. Yet if we apply this same logic to our mental health and general well-being, in terms of the right balance of certain abstract foundations in our life, we may find that our lives are lacking the sturdiness necessary to cope with inevitable challenges that we will experience.
The parable in Matthew 7:24-27 passage highlights two people who decided to build their house on two very different foundations. I wonder why this one man decided to build his house on the sand? Easier perhaps. After all, there’d be less effort involved because the foundations were soft; however, when the challenges came for this man, it all fell apart. The message in the story is simply that proper foundations are necessary. One man was considered wise because of the foundation he built on and the other was considered foolish. One weathered the challenges while the other collapsed under pressure. The parable questions the significance of building on sturdy foundations.
During chapel throughout the rest of the term, the students are going to be looking at the abstract, yet essential foundations of love, joy, hope and peace. Like bees, such crucial factors in our lives often go unnoticed or taken for granted, yet when we think of how important they are in building relationships creating strong communities and so on, we can then value and consider how to best build upon these lasting foundations.
Rev. Geordie Barham