There is a house on Willamette Boulevard in Portland that I was surprised to learn is occupied. This particular stretch of road has an amazing view on downtown Portland, the Fremont Bridge, and the Willamette River. There are some beautiful houses there. This one in particular is probably one of the oldest, and seemingly least cared for. It’s one of those “grand old lady” kind of houses. It looks like the upper floors need some TLC and the whole thing needs stripped and repainted. If it had not been for the cars parked in the drive and they relatively well-maintained grass, I would have thought it abandoned.
One might argue that they owners don’t care as much about appearances. The house is functional and serving its purpose. Maybe they value being out and about, living life, instead of keeping their house pretty to impress passers by like Corby. Maybe. But it got me to thinking.
If memory serves, we are currently in the fourth home that we have owned. To have a fully functioning, healthy, happy home, you need to take care of the inside and the outside. A home is a place from which you send people out and invite people in. It’s a shelter, a base for those who live there, and a refuge for others. At least, that’s how we see our home.
House of Faith
As I looked at this house on Willamette, I wondered something; what does my relationship with Jesus look like to others as they “drive by?” Are there parts that are damaged by exposure to the elements of the outside world? Is it an eyesore to others? It may be functioning, but is it flourishing? Is it all about me and what I need, or is it serving as an encouraging inspiration to others?
Everything worth having requires maintenance. Unfortunately, in our “use it and toss it” culture, things aren’t built to last and are therefore not really worth the effort to maintain. In fact, many things are designed and built to not last long on purpose so that we will toss them and buy a new one regularly. This should not be the case with a house, and it definitely isn’t the case when it comes to being a follower of Jesus.
Yet how many people do you know that have walked away from Jesus because being His disciple required work? Maybe you are someone who has walked away. Maybe Jesus moved into your life and wanted to do some demolition and remodeling, but you liked things the way that they were and said, “No.” Remember, Jesus was a carpenter. He knows what He’s doing.
Choices to Chew On
- How does your “house” look? Is it brand new and shiny? Is it old and run down? Is it untouched since the day Jesus moved in, in need of some cleaning?
- What needs remodeling in your life? Will you let Jesus do the demo work?
- What has grown old and needs refreshing? (Read Revelation 2:1-8, go back to the first works)
- Is you life clean and shiny on the outside but suffering from termites and rot on the inside? Are you willing to let Jesus gut it and start over?