My career as a pianist was short-lived. After one challenging lesson I
went home, cried, and called it quits. At age 6.
My son had a different musical journey. The first time he plucked
guitar strings, he struggled to stretch his fingers to make a chord.
But he persisted whenever he found a minute to practice. Some days,
we were late to school because he was working on some song and
was hardly dressed to run out the door. At 15, he now plays complex
songs with ease, always hungry for new challenges. I’m in awe of his
dedication, amazed at how each practice builds on the last one.
It’s a hard lesson, understanding how difficult work today turns
into something great tomorrow. Knowledge builds upon knowledge.
The stone we lay now may become the foundation for a great career
or a rewarding hobby or lifestyle. Working together, the stones we lay
as a community may become something bigger.
Some never realize the results of their labors. In the Middle Ages, many generations of workers toiled on a cathedral before it was complete. Modern playwright Jonathan Larson died the day before his musical Rent previewed on Broadway and became a sensation.
We can never know the whole picture of our life, and how others build upon our contributions. For every Noah who builds an ark and finds dry land, there is a Moses who doesn’t get to enter the prom- ised land. All of these died in faith without having received the promises, we read, but from a distance they saw and greeted them (v. 13).
Perhaps faith is not the hope that everything ultimately goes our
way. Faith may be the belief that our efforts, guided by Christ, will
contribute to a good greater than we could imagine.
In your community, job, or family, what small contributions do you make to help produce results that may one day glorify God?
God, work through our hearts, hands, and minds for a better world. Assure us that following Christ has an impact beyond what we see. Amen.