Judy Brandon: CNJ columnist
In some of my early growing up years in Kansas City, Miss., mother often took Susie and me into the city to explore museums or to shop at Macy’s.
Those excursions were recreational and educational. We would shop all morning and then at noon we would head to the nearest Katz Drug Store to eat at the lunch counter.
Downtown Kansas City was exciting and Susie and I were in awe of the inner-city energy and action.
One such trip was on a cold January day when winter coats were on sale. We had not been downtown since before Christmas. After about an hour bus ride, Mother pulled the cord to let the bus driver know we needed off. He stopped the bus, we jumped off and the three of us started walking in the direction of Macy’s.
Then we noticed something new. During our few weeks absence from the downtown scene, a whole city block had been boarded off for construction of a new skyscraper. The construction crew had drilled holes in the walls partitioning off the area so passersby could observe the activity.
We stopped and took a look. It was amazing. The crew had the earth torn up in the process of digging deep down to lay the foundation for the tremendous skyscraper. It seemed that those giant earth-moving machines just scooped up dirt effortlessly. There were sounds of tumultuous jackhammers breaking up concrete and other machinery noises dominated the air.
On downtown trips over the next few weeks we always made time to peer through the holes in the fence to watch the construction. But one day we stopped to check out the site and there was no activity. Everything was at a standstill. We stood with others as we wondered why there was no activity.
Mother asked a man next to her why construction was halted.
He said that the crew hit quicksand and they had to find sold ground for the foundation or else they would be in trouble later. Engineers were working on the problem. Weeks passed. Finally the problem was remedied. All the sand was scooped out and hauled away in trunks. When solid ground was found, they could begin the construction.
We passed through Kansas City this last summer and I glanced over from the interstate at all those skyscrapers. That building is probably still there and has been safe over the years despite the winds and storms because its foundation is sturdy.
Jesus had much to say about solid rock versus quicksand. He told the crowds in his Sermon on the Mount that people have choices in life. They can build their spiritual house on the sand, but the storms of life can make it easily fall, or they can build upon the Rock, and the house will stand despite the storms.
Because this is life, we all will be shaken by the storms we encounter. Sickness, death, divorce … sooner or later those things will touch us. Yet, if we have built on the solid rock Jesus, we have a firm foundation.
When I was a little girl, we sang 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 because I know that those words were truth about real life.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: