I have always been fascinated with construction work. It brings out all those building instincts within me. Who would not be awed by such enormous projects as putting a ten lane highway through a residential neighborhood, chiseling around mountains, blasting through rock, moving millions of cubic yards of dirt—it all seems like such a superhuman task, even with huge machinery. But they have learned some short cuts over the years, like building a highway bridge on the ground and then digging the roadway out from under it when it is finished. That way they don’t have to worry about workers falling off or determining how to get heavy machinery up to it.
I got to thinking about that procedure as I watched them put together one of the bridges over Squaw Peak (Piestawa Peak) Parkway many years ago. For weeks it was difficult to determine what was happening as lines, conduit, and rebar were all strung together and covered with concrete. There was no way one could tell what that gray mass was all about until they began to dig beneath it and suddenly expose….a bridge!
How very like the process our Lord uses in the Sermon on the Mount when he takes this ingredient and that ingredient and puts them together in a strange combination that seems out of place to the undiscerning. We wonder why He is so insistent that we follow the procedure exactly and why He is so intolerant of our own natural inclinations. That is why following the Word of God demands faith. It isn’t just a matter of “doing what comes naturally.” Some of His demands appear very unnatural. I was speaking with a man who was telling me of his work for a former employer who is presently seeking to undermine his efforts in the new company he had just started. “It makes me angry at their unethical behavior,” he confessed, “and I want to retaliate. But I know God doesn’t want me to do that.” I assured him he was correct and that if we do things God’s way, we will get God’s results. We can’t always understand how that works, but we know from experience that when the storms of life come and the winds and rain do their job, only one thing remains standing: the life He designed. There really is no substitute for following the Designer’s specifications.
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship