Building Towers

October proved to be a busy month. On top of family responsibilities, I tried to keep up with this blog and continue my attempts to help my younger brother write a book (you can read a brief idea about that here: https://anticipatingadventure.com/2020/01/21/remembering/). I also worked on creating an award-worthy recipe for a Christmas cookie contest I entered online and wrote an essay in hopes of having it published in a magazine for moms.

In the midst of the busyness, my toddler son started to ask me to play with him more, and I have complied. With COVID-19 restrictions and no siblings of his own, I feel sorry for him. I’m the only playmate he has most times, so I’m trying to actively engage in the moments when he asks me to play.

Liam is especially fond of building trains with his Duplo Legos, and although I can enjoy this activity to a certain degree, we always face some contention when we play with them together. Liam wants to build tall towers for each train car, and when I suggest to him that we create a better foundation first, he gets upset with me.

“No! No! No!” he exclaims as he snatches the Legos out of my hands and then rebuilds according to his liking. Inevitably, the teetering train cars come tumbling down at some point, and Liam is left feeling upset. It’s the frustrating pattern we follow each time we play, no matter how much I try to reason with him in order to avoid the train’s demise.

After a few days of following this routine, I could sense God teaching me a greater lesson through it, and I began to feel convicted by my own hypocrisy. While I was urging Liam to build a better foundation, I had been ignoring my own. My quiet times had become shorter and were getting pushed later into the day, even to the extent that I skipped a few a couple of times. In my own attempts to build something impressive out of my life, I had neglected my own foundation, and the fruits of my labor were now threatening to come crashing down like my son’s Lego trains. It brought the following Bible verse to mind:

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen stays awake in vain.”

Psalms 127:1

Looking back on the month of October, I can see that I spent a good chunk of it laboring in vain. I didn’t tend to my foundation by spending time with God in the first hours of the morning, nor did I seek out His wisdom or guidance in how or what to “build” each day. Instead, I began the projects of October with my own agenda in mind.

I couldn’t help but think about the Tower of Babel as described in Genesis 11 when I considered all of this. The people set out to build a tower that would reach to the heavens in hopes of making a name for themselves. They wanted to seek their own glory and thought this tower would do the trick. God thwarted their plans, however, and the tower was left unfinished. He would not share His glory with another.

Much like the people from the Tower of Babel, I find myself seeking my own glory all too often, attempting to build tall towers of my own. It’s a struggle that I have to fight against daily, especially when it comes to writing. God has been gracious to me, however, in that He allows me to experience writer’s block quite a bit. I’m beginning to see it as a gift from Him because it’s the exact thing I have needed to recognize when my motives have become self-centered, and it’s precisely what makes me repent and ask God to help me write for His glory.

Nonetheless, I believe that I could avoid this pattern more if I were to earnestly begin my day in God’s Word and surrender my desires, thoughts, plans, and dreams to Him each morning. After all, any of my labor towards any of these things is only in vain if God is not in it, and He has not placed me or any of us on this earth to fulfill our own purposes.

God created us to glorify Him, and He has prepared good works in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), so we need to seek His face each day so that He can build up His kingdom through our lives. Because, unless He builds the house, all other labor is in vain. It is nothing more than teetering Lego train cars without a foundation set in Him.

11 thoughts on “Building Towers”

  1. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. He is our foundation and He has given us everything we need to build for Him. A quote from Andy Stanley comes to mind: “I can’t; You can – You can through me”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had my former house built in 2009 and it didn’t take long to realize my house had structural issues. It wasn’t until 2016 that I learned how MASSIVE the foundation/structural issues were (I lived on a hill to make it even worse!). I absolutely appreciate the necessity of having a solid foundation. Because I didn’t have a finished basement I could see the progression, widening of the cracks in the wall and in the floor to the point that daylight shone through. Had my basement been finished, it would have taken a lot longer to notice the structural issues. (FYI I am NOT against finished basements!) The foundation isn’t glamor and glitz but it’s vital, it ensures that the home/edifice will be sturdy and strong. (For anyone who is interested in building a house, take lots and lots of pictures of construction, especially the foundation! Thank God for all the construction pictures I had!). Praise God that when Christ is our foundation and we are allowing God to root and plant us in Him, He will grow us, manifesting His fruit in us in which we can glorify God and encourage others. Thank you Colleen for sharing your self-reflection! Love and blessings to you!!

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    1. Wow. What you have shared sounds like it could be a blogpost of it’s own. Yes, I’m glad that we are secure in Him. I just have to keep reminding myself to build all aspects of my life on Him. Blessings to you!

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  3. Oh so good!!! And so easy for us moms to let our own foundation slip at times. Thank you for this reminder! I love how God teaches us lessons through our kids!

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  4. God has such a wonderful way of reminding us to keep our foundations strong in Him. It is so easy to want to do all of these good things through our days and often the first thing that suffers is the most important thing which is our time with God. I have experienced this too Colleen and you sharing this was a good reminder to me.
    Blessings to you 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. This is what God was teaching me when you shared your post about spending time with God. Your last post also seemed so pertinent to this blogpost as I was writing it. I really love how God uses other believers to encourage each other in our faith. Blessings to you!

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