This past Saturday, I drove Colson to San Clemente High School to take a test. Since I had some time to kill, I looked for a place where I could sit and work on my computer. I found a nice neighborhood where I could park and access the beach. Actually it wasn't too far from where our church used to have family beach camp a number of years ago. So I parked my car, hiked down the hill, and settled on a bench overlooking the ocean. At the time, the weather was dry and somewhat cloudy. Now I love being near the beach but on Saturday the weather was unpredictable to say the least. I probably hadn't been sitting there for very long when all of a sudden the wind and the rain came with a vengeance. One minute people were jogging by and walking their dogs, the next minute everybody had disappeared and I was getting pelted by sideways rain, wind, and hail. By the time I had made the 15 minute walk back up the hill to my car, I was drenched and exhausted. The good news is I survived :).
It kind of seems indicative of the way things have gone this year. Doesn't it? One minute, everything is status quo, everybody's just going about their business. The next minute, the situation around us has changed drastically and we're left trying to figure out what to do and where to turn. Now none of us are able to predict the weather just like none of us could have foreseen the pandemic or many of the other things 2020 has brought, but we do know that storms are inevitable and life's circumstances will change over time. So like a wise person, it is imperative that we build our lives on that which is solid, steady, and dependable. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to do that. Many in our world today build their lives on things that shift, change, and are inherently unstable. Things like wealth, beauty, popularity, and success do not last forever and will falter over time.
At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains how to build a foundation that will prepare us for the storms of life. In Matthew 7:24-27, He says "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his 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 man who built his 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.” Jesus has just taught the people how to live out God's will in their lives and embody Him in what they say and do. And here He impresses on them and us the consequences of obeying or not obeying His words.
As I was walking by the beach on Saturday, I looked up and saw what you normally see along the coast in Southern California: nice houses, cliffs, rocks, and sand. Then the storm came. And no, I didn't see any houses come crashing down (thank goodness). But we know Jesus was giving us a metaphor for life and it was a reminder that you and I should put into practice what God's Word says and seek to build our lives on the Rock of our salvation.