The most important piece to building a home is in ensuring that the foundation is strong and true. Strength comes from the materials that the foundation is built with, being true means that the building upon it will be level, straight, and able to bear up to life. When foundations are not strong and true it would be described as being a weak base. I have heard this example given my whole life but to be honest it just doesn’t become real for me.
See, I am not a builder. I can appreciate the truth in the example but it is just not my experience. A better example for me is found in rifle marksmanship where I do have some practical experience. In rifle marksmanship having a weak base results in not knowing where your shots will end up or hitting what you are aiming at, a potentially deadly situation. I know what it feels like to fire with a good and stable foundation, and I also know what it feels like to fire with a sloppy one. I have seen the effects that a good foundation has on impact and accuracy, and I have also experienced the frustration and failure of sloppy mechanics.
I know without question that the best foundation for people is one that is built upon Christ. The way I understand this to be lived out practically is based on my experience with rifles. When a rifleman’s base is stable the rifle and supporting arm are locked together…where the arm and the rifle movements are joined as the same instrument. The legs are wide so as to limit any movement and to absorb any recoil. The cheek is welded to the stock so the eye and the barrel look to the same thing. When all the mechanics are utilized properly the natural point of aim between the rifle and the shooter is exactly the same. No Kentucky windage necessary, because it is zeroed in on target.
In my understanding, a building is static. It does not move. The example of building upon a strong foundation for me seems too simplistic and not real life. Again, I appreciate the truth in the example, but in practical observation in my life I just don’t see that we build a home on the foundation of Christ that forever does not move. We are not castles, we are people. And as much as I wish that I was static and unmovable, I know that is just not the truth. As a rifleman, I know that the proper way to fire is in utilizing the proper base AND in maintaining it. But I also know that when you get tired, it is easy to loosen up. That when you get overwhelmed with moving on multiple targets that you let a piece of the technique to fall away. And as all these start to add up, you become less accurate and the situation can become more deadly. See there are several keys that are important to understand that affect us in practical ways. There is very much a measure of discipline to maintaining a stable foundation. You have to focus on it…you have to take steps to remain there…you can return to it if you have slipped. There is also a measure of muscle memory as well. You have to practice…you have to repeat…you have to live it.
It is the same in our walk with Christ. We have to maintain our stable base and it can be hard, it takes work. But we don’t have to go alone, He is there to help us. Today, I began reading a yearly devotional called “Foundations” and just like in marksmanship it will take discipline and muscle memory to remain consistent. But reading the Word daily and thinking about the truth and peace found within it is like spreading the legs wide and tucking that arm back under the rifle, closing your eyes and letting out that clearing breathe, taking aim, and knowing that when you open up, you are dead zero.
To misquote the Rifleman’s Creed: “There are many lives, but this one is mine…”