Monday, 21 April 2008

Building Blocks

Not every building project involves materials that can be seen. If we're fortunate enough to live in a comfortable, warm house, chances are we'll take it for granted. We won't stop to think about the careful planning, the skillful design or the arduous labour that went into it, but simply accept it as our God-given right.

But there is also the invisible building - the abstract creation. Both start out as thought waves transcending the ether, the formless stuff of the void. A typical example to illustrate this is the church.

"...Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
( Matthew 16:18 )

The Invisible Church

From the Greek translation, the word 'church' means 'belonging to the Lord' and Peter, a name meaning 'rock', was chosen to be the head of the church on earth - a visible head of an invisible church. Because when we talk about going to church we think of a building, a place of worship. This fact has led many to believe in the mistaken idea that God can only be found in such a building and nowhere else. Christ never intended this. His church was never meant to be a place or structure that could be destroyed by man, but a body of believers, the chosen ones or the elect.

Let's look at another 'building' scripture.

"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain." ( Psalm 127:1 )

Difficult Task

The idea behind this was to demonstrate that if man attempts to build in his own strength and by his own will, he can never succeed in the long run. Failure is the only outcome. However, if he allows God to be the architect and builder, all will be well. This is a very hard concept to come to terms with. To trust in something you can't see, hear or touch is perhaps the most difficult task imaginable.

We are constantly building something. A child builds with wooden blocks, part of the learning process. Young adults learn skills which become the foundation for even greater learning. We build and maintain personal and emotional relationships and if we do so on solid foundations (rock), the relationship will withstand the rigours and the tempests of life. But if we build on sand, the house will surely be vulnerable to destruction. Those of us who have suffered broken marriages will readily testify to this analogy.

The Ego Problem

The thing that makes building on rock so difficult is the ego, an over-used but generally misunderstood word largely associated with psychologists and psychotherapy. The ego, considered by many to be a construct, is the part of us which governs our actions and the decisions we make. It is our safety valve during our growing years, our governing mechanism that prevents us from endangering ourselves. The big problem with the ego is that it is fearfully paranoid and this fear is often converted into actions which cause conflict. You only have to look at structures such as the Great Wall of China, Hadrians wall and not forgetting the Berlin wall. They were all built out of fear to keep certain people out, and in some cases to keep them in.

Religion Not the Answer

This is ego building. It is the building of structures of segregation instead of unification and it happens because we find it so hard to trust and to believe that we are safe. Tragically, having a religion does not guarantee the kind of trust and self-belief necessary to build on rock. If it was, we would not have the religious conflict we constantly see around us. There would be no Middle East crisis and definitely no 'Holy War', an oxymoron of epic proportions.

Our Inheritance

If we can only learn to trust and believe that our default inheritance is one of safety and peace and that all things work only for our joy and happiness, the world would be transformed overnight. We began with a beautiful garden and gradually, because of our fear, the weeds and the briers took over. But it's never too late. We can turn the situation around, and we can begin by loving ourselves and trusting that all is well in our personal world. This is not egotism, which relates to pride, but it is the sure belief that nothing can harm us. Why not start with a thought in that direction. The thought will travel far into the void where it will be picked up by the formless matter and reflected back to us as tangible good. The mechanism never fails. What we focus our attention on, we get more of. This is a universal law which is foolproof. Don't take my word for it. Try it for yourselves!

Every thought you and I transmit today builds our tomorrow, good or bad. Don't you think that we deserve a good tomorrow?