“And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.” Matthew 7:26
The majestic Adirondack Mountains and the vast Atlantic Ocean are both easily reachable from my home, so this line from the Gospel and the fuller Gospel story (Matthew 7:21-29) elicit some powerful imagery for me. In an instant I am on the beach, where the shoreline constantly changes because of gentle winds or powerful storms. With the crash of even the smallest wave, sand gives way beneath your feet and you can lose your balance.
What are the shifting sands in your life, the things that throw you off balance? Too much work? Too much social media? Not enough silence? Our world moves so fast and is so focused on “flash,” it’s easy to think we’re building fabulous lives on immovable mountains. Then along comes illness, financial strain, a child in trouble, and we realize we’ve built sandcastles, beautiful on the outside but with no support underneath. Where do we get the right building materials?
Jesus gives us the blueprint. It’s not enough to hear his words; we have to act. That can be difficult, but in the end it’s the only thing that will keep our house standing when the tides turn and we are faced with an unfamiliar shoreline. And action begins in silence and stillness, where we find the strength and direction we need. Guided by the Spirit, we can become like shoreline and mountain all at once—moldable but unshakable. — Mary DeTurris Poust, June 2014
This reflection was originally published in the June 2014 edition of Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press), but I thought it made a nice general reflection for this time of year when many of us are heading to beaches and mountains. I am blessed to be one of the regular (every three months or so) contributors to Give Us This Day, which is a wonderful publication and spiritual companion. If you don’t already subscribe, click HERE to see what you’re missing.