“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.” -Jesus, Luke 6:43-45
We’re always reaching for that next step. If we could, we’d take them two at a time just to get to our destination. Our destination is that place of approval and importance in purpose. We want a show-n-tell for our efforts. We want to be recognized for our work. In chasing that, we neglect our foundation.
Your purpose is the task at hand. It’s the mundane sprinkled with moments of ‘extra-ordinary.’ If you try to make the ‘extra-ordinary’ ordinary then you become a thrill junkie. Right now is never enough. You’ll never be content.
Get a handle on what is right in front of you so that when that illusive ‘crossroad’ of opportunity takes place, you can move into it with practiced ease. When the ‘extraordinary’ task is finished you can go back to practicing in the mundane for the next one.
If you can’t excel at the small things, how can you be trusted with the bigger tasks you’ve been called to do?
The ordinary is your foundation. It’s the ground on which you stand. If you only tend to the larger things, the things that get noticed, you lose everything when your foundation crumbles.
Practice. Get a grip on what you have. Practice with what is right in front of you so that you’ll be ready when the big stuff comes.
Approval comes with disapproval. Popularity comes with infamy. Your importance is gauged by your foundation. How can you handle with wind on the mountain if you aren’t burrowed into it? How can you take the slander out in the world if you don’t know who you are at home?
Life’s tests are like fire burning up the cheap materials and leaving what it solid. The better your foundation, the more that will be left standing when it’s your turn to get hit.
To put it practically: A well tended marriage, well cared for kids and a smoothly running home make for a safe place to land when the world bites at your back and chips away at your self-worth.
Or, to put it another way, you are God’s house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. -1 Corinthians 3:9-15
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