Sunday, February 9, 2014

Imageries of Building

Building projects supply instructive imageries to illustrate life’s important lessons. Imageries use figurative language to make a point. As a classroom teacher, one of my favorite instructional imageries supplied students with advice for construction of their “life house.” For instance, we must build our life house using good construction materials. Good diet and healthy exercise must be incorporated into the building of our bodies. Wholesome reading materials help build our moral and ethical “life house.”

Pastors often use building imagery in their pulpit instruction. Recently our pastor concluded a series on the Sermon on the Mount with the text of Matthew 7:24-28. In that familiar passage the foundations of two homes were contrasted. One home was built on a foundation of rock; the other was built on sand. Of course, the success of the structures depended largely on the planning and choices of the house builders with respect to their foundations.

Other building imageries reminding us of the necessity of intelligent planning come to mind. During my adult life I have been involved in the construction of three new personal family dwellings. The first two were building projects joined “in progress.” The home designs had been chosen by our builder before we entered into contract with him. We had only to select various options for woodwork, flooring, colors, and other minor design features.

In contrast, our most recent home building venture involved personal goals and prudent planning--selection and purchase of a building lot, engagement of an architect, and hiring of a building contractor. My wife’s insightful design concepts were particularly manifest in the kitchen and other rooms where the woman’s touch produced results approaching creative genius. Many other details of the building process are chronicled and preserved in family lore.

We avoid taking credit for our dwelling more than we deserve, even though our guests are informed that the home’s basic design concepts and decorating schemes are our very own. Our chosen professional designer deserves the lion’s share of credit for producing the blueprints. Our builder and his sub-contractors executed the actual production. In similar manner, the appearance of our children and the perfection of their body systems is a gift from the Lord beyond our control.

Recent post topics relate to the miracle of reproduction and the process of gestation. Details of this story inspire awe and wonder. All involved--young people, prospective parents, parents, grandparents, indeed, all of humanity--are invested in this grand saga. When we understand the mind-boggling reality of the wonder of genetic inheritance and the intricate process of reproduction, we tremble with awe. The signature of God is manifest in multiple ways.

Building projects provide lessons in integrated construction strategies. Quality building materials must be selected. Construction materials must be utilized at the proper time and place and in the appropriate manner. For an effective result, all factors must operate in concert. Applying this imagery to human reproduction, the formation of an embryo, its transition to a fetus and finally, the arrival of the birth of a child are events which are coordinated precisely by the Creator. A home building project demands intelligent human control. Likewise, the human body building gestation process demands intelligent divine guidance during pregnancy. For the most part the process is beyond the control of prospective parents except to monitor the mother’s physical condition and reverently preserve and care for the developing new life.

This tiny corner of the universe has been bestowed with life by the Creator. So far as scientists can tell, life’s existence occurs solely on our unique planet. Life has been endowed with the capacity to reproduce itself. Man, the highest form of life, is endowed with consciousness. We are enabled, therefore, to contemplate the reality of life and its reproductive ability. Our enablement is one of God’s multiple gifts to humanity created in God’s image.