What comes to your mind when your read these two words? Do you remember some grand creation you constructed or wonderful family game time filled with laughter as the tower toppled? Maybe LEGOs and Jenga are still a favorite part of play at your house and all of the sudden you want to stop reading my words and go get them out of the closet. As for me, I will not be able to look at these building block activities the same again. Let me explain.
Recently I had the privilege of being a small group leader for our church’s Disciple Now. This is a weekend event where middle school and high school students separate into groups by grade and stay together in the home of another church family. We have teaching times in our small groups but we also gather for large group worship at the church and we usually have some crazy recreation of some sort. Our theme this year was *Some Assembly Required. As you can probably imagine, both LEGO blocks and the game of Jenga would make great object lessons with a theme like that. I would like to look at some spiritual thoughts that were shared that these two things can illustrate for us.
One of the ideas from the weekend is that God has a great plan for us as a part of His kingdom and at some point along the way we will have to put some of the building blocks together. 2 Chronicles 7 shows God’s response to Solomon and the Israelites as they obeyed Him and constructed the temple the way He asked. Like LEGOs come with a diagram illustrating how to assemble the blocks into what they where intended to become, God gives us His directions and expectations (the Bible) of how our lives are to look when assembled, not just individually, but also all together as His body, the church. Certainly each creation will look different than the next and our construction projects will never truly be finished, since we cannot attain perfection in this life, but the point of the idea is that God wants us to participate in the building of His temple, our individual bodies, and the body of believers, the church. We have some responsibility for how the building project goes together. Through obedience and spiritual disciplines we get to work along side of God and help Him build a really cool place for Him to live…our hearts.
A second idea from the weekend was that if we remove spiritual disciplines and Christ-like attitudes and behaviors from our lives it is very likely that our building project is going to topple over and land in a heap. The end of the Israelites freedom described in 2 Kings 25 illustrates what happens when we neglect God’s kingdom and do what we want for our own kingdom. In the game of Jenga we try to remove blocks from the tower, making it unstable and out of balance, but without knocking it over. No one wants to be the person who finally causes it to fall, even though we are all participating in making it weaker, so we pretend that it is still strong and continue to remove the pieces. Eventually the tower WILL fall. Many times we do the same thing, thinking that one little sin or disobedience here and there can’t really have that much affect on our lives. Not reading the Bible or praying or not doing what we know to be right according to God won’t really cause that much damage, will it? Eventually, over time, our lives are affected by continuing to make these decisions and we wonder how our lives got so rough looking. In the sadness of realizing God will let our towers crumble, there is a shining light of hope and joy. God’s purpose in letting it all fall is so that we return and recognize Him and what He wants to build. God is actually in the destruction, not as a big meany knocking down our tower, but a loving father trying to teach us something for our benefit. The best part is he is right there to help us rebuild!
So how is your building project? Are you paying close attention to the plan and trying to put together what the designer intended or are you playing around with the building blocks and seeing which ones you think you can live without? If we all told the truth, we are most likely doing a little of both. I know I had to pause and double check my building instructions. Maybe you should do the same. Its wonderful to know He is with us in construction and wouldn’t it be awesome to have the life your building turn out the way God designed it to be?
Somebody hand me that hammer…