Open bag 11!
There we were. After 947 pieces, we were ready to open the final bag of Legos needed to complete Bowser’s castle and clean up the wreckage of cellophane and cardboard from the dining room table.
I’m Zac, and I’m a dad of two amazing boys who love really cool toys. This year, right before Christmas, my oldest son got really into Legos (Lego Mario to be specific), and because I am a sucker for hybrid technology, cool collaborations, and watching my 5 year old geek out with glee, we went all-out this holiday season.
When I say we went all out, I mean we went ALL. OUT.
For the new year, we built the mushroom village, the haunted forest, the spiny-guy desert, and then we built the castle. Bowser’s castle. Bigger than all the rest. This end-boss behemoth has so many grey pieces my 35 year old eyes almost crossed.
I don’t know if you’ve played with the new Legos, but the new sets are super cool. All of the instructions are stored and organized in a dedicated app. No more yellow pages to turn or staples sticking out to jam you under your thumbnail. You can simply swipe to the next steps as fast as your fingers will let you, and 5 year olds love to swipe to the end.
I can’t blame them! The kid builder in me wanted to rush ahead of our progress in the instructions to get to the picture on the box, but the experienced Zac (Lego maniac) was reminded to trust the process. The little pieces matter.
Trust the Process
After 3 days of 5-hour sessions each day, we were finished. We had amassed a whole Lego Mario world on our dining room table.
The Art of Building
After all the building of tiny castles, which were subsequently smashed by our 3 year old, it got me thinking about another pair of builders who must have also felt entirely overwhelmed at the prospect of making something that their kids would enjoy.
The first man was a builder, but a foolish one. Craving the quick success of building on soft sediment the man set to work, because hey, we don’t just build houses, we build castles, and castles are for royalty!
The second builder was wise and chose to build their house on tough rocky soil, an instant challenge. This meant the process would take longer, and the results would appear less dramatic. The instructions would become more tedious and labor more intensive. But the instructions said it was worth it. So the second builder built in this way.
Because of storms.
The story of two builders isn’t just about building; it’s also about weathering. Jesus first tells this story at the end of his sermon (Matthew 7:24-29) to drive home the application. After the Beatitudes, Lord’s prayer, and hard truth on false prophets, Jesus offers this parable of actionable faithfulness.
I think upon hearing all that Jesus shares, we either rush out to try and get it all done or just feel good that we received the word. But Jesus knew we needed a vision. We needed a reminder, the picture on the box, the instructions, of what we were actually building towards with our prayers, blessings, almsgiving, and lack of worries.
It is often said by those who lead in ministry, to those who lead in ministry that, “Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint”. This may be true, but I don’t ever run, so I will probably never know.
What I do know is that Jesus likens faithful discipleship to housebuilding, not sandcastling. More than what we build, it matters where we build. Whether through a rising tide, tsunami, or King Koopa’s red plastic fireballs, what we build will be tested by something other than us.
Last year we were all tested and tempted to rebuild quickly when a storm blasted our blueprints. We haven’t had a floorplan or the furniture for the last 11 months.
This year, you might be tempted and tested to build and furnish quickly in order to impress while neglecting the process or failing to seek faithfulness amidst the rocks.
Be reminded of Who is the rock, what is solid ground, and be restored to your one true foundation. Put the words of Jesus to practice.