Recently, I was talking with a new acquaintance and we were sharing about each other’s past employment to get to know each other better. We discovered that each of us had worked in both residential and commercial construction during part of our employment history.
He asked me what I used to do in commercial construction and I said that he had probably already seen my work… since most of the projects were very large in nature and easy to make a reference to; knowing that he would know what I was talking about…not meaning to imply that I had built the whole thing by myself!
But when you tell the story of what you did on a large project such as a stadium or amusement park, it is easy to talk about the project as though you were the only person who did all the work!
In fact, if you tell the story enough times, it is easy for others who know you to retell the story as though they too believe that you built the whole thing by yourself!
Yes, I am guilty of sometimes driving past a project that I worked on and saying out loud; “Hey, I made that!”
When you work on large scale commercial construction projects, it takes a team of thousands of workers from many different trades. That is not even including all the people who spent many years planning, designing, and coming up with the finances MANY years before the work was even started.
And oftentimes, when the large-scale project is completed, the final project gets exalted way above the individual who did the work. We see it and exclaim how beautiful (the building, stadium, freeway, amusement park, etc.) is and exclaim to others how magnificent it is; not the one who created it.
So, the work of an individual is easily over looked; especially the one who had the idea in the first place many years before.
I was pondering my conversation with this new acquaintance one morning as I was walking up to the second floor in our house. I looked out the window in the stairway and saw a beautiful sunrise in the east.
Brilliant colors lit up the morning sky in red and gold and blue as the sun was coming forth, breaking the dawn. I stood there saying how beautiful it was.
Wanting to share this with someone else, I called to Cathy to come here so that she could see the sunrise. Cathy also exclaimed how beautiful it was and returned to downstairs with a smile on her face.
When I got upstairs, I realized that I had spoken of how great the sunrise was; not the One who made the sunrise. I had ‘worshipped’ the creation, not the Creator (see Romans 1:25).
A passage from the Bible came to my mind;
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known.” (Psalm 19:1-2 NLT)
Did you catch that; The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.
HIS work was being displayed; HE is the ONE who should have been praised…not the sunrise or the sky. Let’s not get the two mixed up.
He is the One who made everything we see. He is the One who deserves our attention. He is the One who is calling out; “Hey, I made that!”
“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with Me when I made the earth?” (Isaiah 44:24 NLT)
He is displaying His glory (goodness) for us to get to know Him. He is longing for us to be with Him and it is easy to miss out on Him calling to us as we get excited about the final product.
“But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. ” (Hebrews 3:3-4 NLT)
So here is my exhortation to you (and me):
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” Remember Him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky.
Remember Him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember Him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.
Remember Him before the door to life’s opportunities is closed and the sound of work fades. Now you rise at the first chirping of the birds, but then all their sounds will grow faint.
Remember Him before you become fearful of falling and worry about danger in the streets; before your hair turns white like an almond tree in bloom, and you drag along without energy like a dying grasshopper, and the caperberry no longer inspires sexual desire. Remember Him before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral.
Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 NLT)
Turn today to the One who is calling out to you and me; “Hey, I made that!”
Scripture from The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Scripture from New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.