Farmville Enterprise May 24, 2017
My mom and I were fortunate to get to head to Atlantic Beach on Mother’s Day. When we arrived there were huge metal pipes stretching from the vicinity of Fort Macon State Park almost all of the way to the Oceanana Pier. It turned out to be a project by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the shipping channel in Beaufort Inlet in order to maintain navigation in the Morehead City Harbor. The pipes were transporting sand and replenishing the beach west of Fort Macon. We caught the tail end of the project. All of the pipes were removed and the sand smoothed out by Thursday.
Without beach nourishment programs much of our coastline would face massive erosion. Many of us have seen firsthand shorelines left decimated after hurricanes.
The bottom line is that building on sand is a tricky proposition. Sand does not make a sturdy foundation. We can’t count on it not to shift; it is more likely than not to be affected by storms.
Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with the following parable. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish person who built their house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Jesus’ parting thoughts to the large crowd that day were explaining the importance of putting into practice what they had heard. As the epistle writer James puts it, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
By hearing and obeying God’s word we build on the only trustworthy foundation for our lives. While strengthening our families and careers or reaching academic or athletic goals can be done in godly ways, these will never provide lasting foundations. Underlying all of our pursuits must be obedience to God’s teachings.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. ” (Edward Mote)