Strong faiths, foundations built on solid rock

Judy Brandon

Here’s a good thought for the year 2004: build on the Solid Rock.
Let me explain.
When I was a child living on the outskirts of Kansas City, Mother often took Susie and me into the city to explore museums or shop at Macy’s.
I remember one cold January day we headed downtown. The bus ride cost 20 cents but Susie and I rode free. We hadn’t been downtown since before Christmas. After about an hour, Mother pulled the cord by our window to let the bus driver know we needed off, and we started walking in the direction of Macy’s department store.
Then we noticed something new. It had been a few weeks since we had been downtown and we saw that a whole area of a city block had been boarded off for construction on a new skyscraper. The construction crew had drilled holes in the walls partitioning off the area so those going by could look in and observe the activity. Not only were there peepholes for adults, there were peepholes low enough for Susie and me to have a panoramic view.
The crew was in the process of digging deep into the earth to lay the foundation for the skyscraper. The sound of jackhammers breaking up concrete made it impossible to hear anything else. Noisy machinery dominated the air and it seemed that those giant earth-moving machines just scooped up dirt effortlessly.
We took trips downtown over the next two weeks and always made time to go by and peer through the holes in the fence so we could watch the progress of the new skyscraper.
But something happened about a month into the project. We stopped to check out the progress, and to our disappointment, there was no action on the erection site. Construction workers were walking around but no earth moving machines scooped up dirt and no loud jackhammers broke up concrete. The project seemed to be at a standstill.
As we stood there, Mother asked a man standing next to her about the delay in construction. The stranger replied: “They hit quicksand and they must find solid ground before they can build the foundation or they will be in big trouble later.”
Weeks later, the engineers directed the construction crew to dig deeper into the sand, scoop it all out and haul it away in trucks. It was only then would the first cement be poured and the first girders placed.
Now, even today, when the wind strikes up in Kansas City, that magnificent building is safe through winds and storms because of the foundation that it rests upon.
That man’s response answered our question for that day. But now as an adult, that situation has given me something to ponder for my own life.
Jesus had much to say about solid rock versus quicksand. Jesus told the crowds in his Sermon on the Mount that we have the choice to do one of two things in life. We can build our house upon the sand, but if we do, there will be serious consequences. When storms come, the house will easily fall. Yet, if we build upon the rock, our house will stand in spite of storms.
As surely as life is lived here on earth, we all will be shaken by the storms of life. But when those storms come, if we have built on Jesus, we have a solid foundation!
When I was a little girl, we sang the song in church “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” We don’t sing that hymn anymore and yet the concept is more real to me now than it was in my childhood days. Now I know … in it we were singing the truth about real life.

Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: cbrandon@plateautel.net