Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation - St Augustine
Foundations of humility. Integrity. Thoughts, words, deeds. What is it that I'm building, and how deep have I dug the foundations?
Am I a person of integrity? Does my public life line up with my private?
Do I do the right thing even when no one will know?
Do I return my shopping trolley, do I speak the best about people in their absence, do I pray for the ones who've done me wrong?
Honestly? Not always.
But more and more often I find my posture has changed.
The times I'd become defensive or anxious or begin to believe the worst of someones intentions, I now find myself whispering prayers,
"God my heart is yuk. You change it, I can't.
Help me to forgive.
I need patience.
Help me to respond in love.
Give them the good stuff, God, even when it means they'll have more than me"
The all-day-change-my-heart whispers.
The authentic and humble posture of a yielded heart.
That's what gets us deeper.
The frustrating part about building firm foundations is the digging.
It's labourous, it's dirty, it's confronting, and it seems like the work is never ending.
But my builder-man husband would tell me that the foundation is the most important part.
And to go higher, we need to be prepared to build it solid.
And there's nothing wrong with wanting greatness. We're created for it.
But it comes at a cost, and if you're not willing to spend the time on your foundations, it doesn't matter how high you go, eventually what you've built will crumble.
What's inside will reveal itself in the cracks and the yuk will fall out faster than you can bandaid the fractured pieces.
"These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock."*
The depth of my foundation will determine how high and how far I'll go.
*Jesus, Matthew 7:24-27