The youth of Christ Church in Fairfax Station returned from their mission trip in Topsail, NC where they spent the week working on jobs at two different houses and learning about the importance of a good foundation in our lives. This week made me reflect on the foundations in our lives. On our first day of work on our job-site a couple of youth and myself were tasked with building a mini porch and stairs for a woman outside her back door. As a couple of youth dug postholes we began to get the wood out and get it prepped and ready to be used. Once our posts were put in the ground we cemented them in, and the solidified that with a layer of dirt on top of the cement.
Jesus tells us that we must lay our foundation on the rocks. The cement that we laid the posts for the deck in allowed them to be laid in a firm foundation to keep it from shifting, and to keep the deck from collapsing. I am not sure if any of the youth working on the deck completely understood this reference as we went on through the rest of the week, but it really spoke to me and as we went through the worship services all week it continued to click for me.
This is the first time I have gone on a mission trip with a youth group (as a chaperone) and actually had a good knowledge of the kids. having worked with this youth group for almost a year my background and understanding of them was fairly good. However, as most people know when working with youth, “they continue to surprise you.” It was amazing to continually watch these kids complete these jobs. While I was only on one site I still saw what these kids were capable of and i saw them laying tile and building decks and painting.These kids were laying physical foundations for the people they were helping while working through their spiritual foundations all the while.
I found that for these kids a good spiritual foundation was very tough. I watched and listened as I heard kids struggle to form their foundation. A spiritual foundation is one of the toughest things for us to have as Christians. Their are so many things out in the world that can fight against all of our beliefs and make us question what we believe. We may think we have a good foundation only to find that when we are truly tested we are not as sturdy as we would like to be. Jesus makes it sound so simple in Luke. We just build our foundation on rock and we will be solid. However, for us to build completely on the rock is so difficult in our lives, because often times no matter how hard we try it seems a little sand always sinks in and messes up our foundation.
The other thing I enjoyed about the way the message was conveyed this week was that we are not alone. This journey of building a foundation is so much easier when you have a group of support around you. It would have been tough for one person to try and build that deck, but the fact that they formed together and built it as a group probably made it much stronger than it could have been. No one is alone and if we build a neighborhood on solid ground then it will be stronger than trying to only build one house on solid ground.
This week was so formative. not only for the youth, but I see myself as having learned so much as well. This week gave me so much toward my continued journey towards ministry and has allowed me to better understand my own foundation. It made it stronger. I feel my rocks below me keeping me steady and planted in the ground. It is this tough foundation that allows us to be shaken by the world and remain strong in Christ.