The Story of Two Contractors

By Donald P. Ames

Two men, good friends, decided to build homes on the ocean front. The first man consulted an engineer, who advised him to build back about a block on a good rock foundation. This required a road to be made to deliver the materials, the clearing of the land, and not quite as pretty a view as he had hoped for. Nevertheless, taking the experience of the engineer into consideration, he followed his instructions. Finally his house was finished, and he moved in.

The second man looked at all the “extras” the first had incurred, and decided he had learned from the first man’s “mistakes.” He built his house much closer to the beach. And since he did not have to hire a special engineer, clear the land, and build a special road, he was able to build an even nicer home than the first man. Indeed he was proud of his fine home and happily moved into it.

As the summer came, the second man enjoyed many advantages. He had a nice beach for his kids to play on right by the house. Friends flocked in, admiring the view, the sunset over the ocean, and the convenience. “Why one could almost fish from the front porch and not have to sit in the hot sun,” they said. And he would point out his friend’s house and openly wonder why anyone would want to build so far from such beauty.

Even his friend began to have second thoughts. If he had not spent so much on the “extras,” he could have had an even bigger, nicer home. And he grew tired of lugging all his fishing gear down to the beach. Friends seemed to flock to his friend’s house, but not nearly as many came to his. He even began to question if perhaps he had made a mistake since his friend was doing so well. Maybe he ought to put his house up for sale, and build one down on the beach like his friend had done. After all, his friend had lived there for several years and was having great fun. His friend’s house was bigger and nicer. It was certainly more convenient. And his friend was a good man, well informed and practical; and in this case, maybe had shown the greater wisdom. “Why had he listened to that engineer in the first place?” he wondered.

Then one year an “E1 Nina” developed. The weather began to change and storms became more frequent. As the storms increased in intensity, so did the size of the waves. Soon the beach began to erode and disappear. Before long, the house of his friend was endangered. They tried to stop the erosion, but to no avail. The sand began vanishing, and the house began to totter. Finally it cracked in half and fell into the ocean. The waves soon moved up and the rest of the house collapsed. His friend was ruined. All that he had was tied up in that home. His furniture was gone. The insurance did not cover this type of storm. It was a total loss!

However, since his own house was further away and on a solid foundation, it was not affected. “How thankful I am,” said his wife, “that we hired that engineer. Our house may not have been as big and convenient as his, but at least we still have a home.”

So is he that hears the word of the Lord and does it. Others may evaluate both houses, and maybe even pro- claiming the one bigger, better, and nicer than the other. They may regard the character of both contractors to be equally as good. You may even begin to question of what value is it to be a Christian — he has all of the advantages! But watch and wait . . . wait . . . wait! When the storms of life do come — and they will come — when the storms of grief, of bereavement, and of temptations, etc. come; the house built solidly on the word of God will be the house standing strong after the sweeping storms are passed. It will be able to weather the storms because it had God as its engineer! It had God as a sure foundation! And it had God in its future!

Now, what kind of a foundation are you building on? Go back and read Matthew 7:24-27 and Psalm 73!