A good foundation goes a long way
So, like I said in my last post, I got this truck in pieces. The first real task I undertook was to get the Chassis started. A truck's chassis is very important. In fact, it's the very foundation upon which you build. It has to be sturdy, capable of taking some pretty serious abuse. It has to be straight so that all the additions will fit right. It has to be square, for the same reason. I wanted to be sure this truck would be something that would last a lifetime.
I began with a thorough (by my standards, anyway) inspection of the chassis. It was placed on jack stands and really studied. Any rust or corrosion would have to be addressed. Any stress cracks or bent beams could mean catastrophic failure after the truck was put back together. Fortunately, I found the chassis to be in excellent shape. The front end graft of the 1978 Volare front suspension appeared to be well-executed. All that was left was some cleaning, some paint, and a rear end. After that, we had a good foundation on which to begin our build. Was it perfect? No, but we'll get into that in another installment.
Man, look at that stance in the third picture...
The parallel in scripture is an easy one: Matthew Chapter 7, verse 24. In this section of Matthew, Jesus has kind of been laying some teachings down concerning judging others, seeking God, narrow and wide gates, true and false prophets, etc., and concludes his teaching with the following statement: "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."
We also know that another man built his house on the sand and that did not go so well for him.
You see: I could have just started adding suspension, wheels, tires, a cab, engine, bed, etc. to this machine without inspecting my chassis. Heck, it might have even gone ok. But what if I did so and did not ensure that I had a firm foundation onto which I could build? What if the chassis was not straight? What if there was a stress crack somewhere? What if a structural component had rusted through? Eventually, catastrophe would strike! How would I feel if I spent hundreds of hours piecing this thing back together only to find out the body didn't fit together correctly? I can tell you, I'd be super mad! Heck, I might even abandon the project. (hmm, that's another topic perhaps, as well). What if there was a stress crack? One good goose from the souped up motor and the frame could actually break. At highway speed, in a truck with no seatbelts and a big honkin' metal dash...I don't like to think about it.
So, how do we ensure that our spiritual life has a good, strong chassis? Like my last post, I think it's pretty simple--not always easy, but simple. First, we need to get ourselves back in the Bible. Studying God's word is a sure way to ensure we have a strong foundation.
Prayer is another great way to ensure a strong foundation. Speaking with our heavenly Father is a very important spiritual discipline that helps strengthen our relationship with God, and helps to keep us accountable.
Attending a corporate worship service with other believers is also important for a strong foundation. Paul makes it clear that we are all diverse members (or parts, if you are still in mechanic mode) that work together to form the body of Christ. We're not all the same, we perform different functions, but are necessary for the body to function properly. Just like in our truck here, if a part is missing (or broken) the truck doesn't work!
I don't think I can stress too much that in order to have that strong foundation we must always come from a position of "Love God with all you have" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you ask me, that's a great place to start. There are many other things to learn as a follower of Jesus, but the most important is to approach everything in Love.
Now, go be like me and without too much forethought buy a rust bucket to work on. You'll thank me the first time you take her around the block!