When I was ten years-old I built a treehouse in the woods behind my house. My buddies Paul and Pat joined me in this momentous endeavor. We took time to draw up plans and dream of our “home away from home.” Pat was the artistic-designer one in the group, and I did most of the hard-core engineering. Paul already had a tool box with his grandpa’s old tools so he would be the primary carpenter. We took about a week to come up with our design and gather the construction materials. It was time to build!
When you are boys of a certain age, summer breaks are made for this kind of adventure. Each day we packed our lunches so we wouldn’t need to go back home until dinner time. We worked diligently and used all our combined “talents” to create our dream – a two story tree house with a shingled roof that would withstand the ravages of nature and time until the return of Jesus. This was going to be an edifice worthy of comparisons to all treehouses that had gone before. Three weeks later we had our first “overnight vacation” in our magnificent structure.
What a night! We made a fire and roasted hotdogs. We told ghost stories and then settled in for the night. We laid out our sleeping bags, took out our flashlights and ate our “midnight snacks” of Old Dutch potato chips washed down with grape Kool-Aid. This is living!
Then about nine o’clock pm the wind began to pick up and it started to rain – both outside and in the tree-house. An hour later we were soaked and some boards seemed not to be holding the way they were supposed to so we decided to sleep in my bedroom instead. Our plan was to make a few tweaks to our initial design and sleep in the treehouse tomorrow. In the morning about half of our structure was on the ground completely torn apart by gale force winds the night before of 20 mph. That’s right – not much of a storm at all; what we built wasn’t worth much other than a life lesson for this article.
Ever since that failed foray into construction, I have greatly appreciated people that can build things that actually stand up to the elements. I am in awe of carpenters, construction workers and engineers who create things worth the effort. I so appreciate people who have the training, tools and abilities to take plans off a blueprint and bring them to life. It is also nice to not worry if floors will crumble beneath my feet or ceilings will crash down on my head.
I tell you all this to ask you a deeper life question – what are you building with your life? We have each been given the gift of life. What are we doing with it? Are we doing things that matter? Are we doing things that matter to our God? Are we meeting the needs of others around us or are we mainly surfing the web, listening to podcasts and watching TV? Get connected to real people and give them what they need!
Paul describes this type of living in Acts chapter 18 which is our text for this Sunday’s message.
32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and
give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted
anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine
have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did,
I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the
words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Pastor Nick Mundis