Thursday, January 08, 2009
The story is told about two carpenters. Both men went to build a house for their families. Both were well trained and knew how to build homes. Both men knew the cost and the hard work that would be involved in building their homes. Both men carefully made their plans and started to work on their homes.
The first carpenter wanted to build his house as fast as possible. He didn’t mind cutting a few corners as long as it saved him time and money. He built his house on sand instead of solid rock. The sand was easy to level and his house went together quickly. Soon he was finished and partying with his friends; he even invited the second carpenter to his house to party and have fun.
The second carpenter knew the importance of building on a solid foundation. He knew it took time and many hours of hard work. He knew the more time he would spend laying a sure foundation the stronger and sturdier the house would be. After all, his family would live in the house and he wanted to build the best house he could for them. Therefore, he built his house upon a rock. It wasn’t easy to build a house upon the rock. It took many long hours working in the hot sun — sweating, fighting the desire to give up and to do other things like going to a party at his friend’s house.
The first carpenter and his friends had a good time together at their parties. He would show them his brand new house and tell them how he cut corners and saved time and money. They talked about many things including the second carpenter’s house. They couldn’t understand why it was taking him so long to build his house and even said some things that they shouldn’t have. They said things like, “He must be lazy and wastes his time” and “he works too slow to be a good carpenter and must do inferior work,” and they all agreed they would never hire him to build them a house.
The second carpenter didn’t let their partying and unkind words stop him. Daily he worked hard and diligently on building the very best house he could. He knew deep in his heart he was building his house to last for a very long time. He knew good homes take time to build and one must pay attention to every detail. When he finished he was greatly relieved and moved his family in immediately. Soon he had a party and invited all his friends over including the first carpenter. All were impressed with the house but the people would make comments to each other on how they liked the first carpenter’s house and they thought the first carpenter was better than the second carpenter.
Many days later there came a storm — a terrible, huge storm. The winds blew, the thunder roared and the lightning flashed. The rain poured down and it started to flood. After the storm passed people came out to see the damage. Sadly many crops were ruined, some trees fell over, some roads were washed out but the biggest surprise came as the people looked at the two carpenters’ houses. The first carpenter’s house had fallen flat while the second carpenter’s house looked brand new. The first carpenter’s house was completely destroyed and ruined by the storm. Worst of all, the first carpenter and his family lost their lives when the house collapsed. No one said anything, but deep in their hearts they knew if they ever needed a house built who they would ask.
Actually this story is not a new one. Jesus tells it in Matthew 7:24-27. Carpenter one is the foolish man and carpenter two is the wise man. The foolish man is a person who refuses to listen to and obey the words of Jesus while the wise man takes time to listen to and obey Jesus’ words.
For the new year I would like to challenge you to be like the wise man and study for yourself the words of Jesus and do what He says. In 2009 we will face many storms, even some big ones like the wise man had to face, but remember, regardless of the size of the storm or how many storms there will be, the wise man and his family survived the storm.
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