Built in the 1950’s, it only had eight lanes, word wrapped floors and a slow, mechanical, bowling ball rotation, that took you back in time. Four of us played. We carefully propped up our ball, eyed where the bowling pins were, and took our shot. The technique and execution were correct, but each and every ball curved left and ended up in the gutter.
Something seemed suspicious, so finally I walked out onto the alley, placed a large ball perfectly still in the middle, then slowly let it go. Sure enough, the ball independently rolled down and to the left. The girl working at the bowling alley brazenly retorted at my little “experiment”, “What do you expect? This place was built in the 1950’s. The foundation is sloping, so all of your balls will roll away from the middle.”
My life in the past has been sometimes been like this same bowling alley. We set everything just right, but once we let go, everything seems to shift, despite ourselves, slightly in the wrong direction.
Living a life with a tilted foundation can leave us feeling sabotaged and discouraged. But, what if we went back to the basics? What if we realized time, attention, and a solid relationship with Jesus must be the foundation to all we are doing? The thing about foundations is, often they erode where nobody sees. And although we can fake it for a season, eventually a tilted foundation will be evident to the masses, just like this crooked bowling alley.
I have found, it is vital to keep checking the foundation of what I am building upon. Is it my ego, my will, my desire to please man…or is it truly Him and Him alone I seek to please? Is He first and foremost? Is He the Cornerstone of all I am doing?
Psalms 127:1 tells us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builder labors in vain.” And at the end of the day, only God can create something beautiful and lasting. The wise man who built His house upon the rock remained unshakeable when the storms came. (Matt. 7:24-27) And I want to be like that. Don’t you?
Isaiah 28:16 tells us, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation…” And yet, how easy it is to build on achievement and accomplishments, resurrecting towers on sand, not realizing they’ll be futile, until after the storms have assailed us?
And what does it mean to build upon His Rock, His firm foundation?
The worker that day went on to explain that if they wanted this 1950’s bowling alleys to be straight, they would have to dig out the corners and pour a new foundation. And yet, I wondered how a life of gutter balls could ever be rewarding?
It’s not too late as Missional Women, to realign what we are building upon. We can come to Him dependent, asking Him to realign us, seek His will through solemn devotion, letting Him alone be our sole foundation. Wood and straw will be burnt up in the fire, but everything built on His firm foundation will surely last forever. After all, we were never created for gutter balls. It’s time we start throwing strikes.
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog,Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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