Last Saturday my husband and I ventured out to his great grandparent’s retired farmstead to cut firewood. Since I’m no Paul Bunyan I let Nate do the wood cutting and in the meantime I went and explored, (no worries I helped carry and load the wood later). This is probably my third time throughout the past ten years nosing around this particular property…but for me it never gets old. I feel like there’s always some new little nook or cranny just waiting to be stumbled upon or observed. And safety precautions….well out there you just have to enter at your own risk…
Seeing all the antiqued equipment and many dilapidated structures is proof enough that the work in those days was no doubt extensive yet the idea of it creates such a desirable nostalgic feeling deep within me.
As I light-footedly stepped throughout the worn out abandoned house I began thinking about how back in the eighties it was still being occupied.
Walking through each room I paid close to attention to the dingy furniture still perfectly placed in the rooms in which they belonged. Boxes filled with dusty magazines lined the walls and light from the sun pierced through openings in the roof and crumbled ceilings.
Once I made my way back outside I wandered through tall grasses and faltered over broken tree branches.
While crouching under cratered beams in the chicken coop and weathered barn I imagined the numerous chickens and calves that surely occupied the area at one point.
It’s crazy how quickly a house, building, property, etc can become so run down once neglected; it takes just a very short amount of time.
I’m reminded of how this can be so symbolic of the heart and soul as well. I’ve noticed that when I’m not making it a priority to attentively focus and get into God’s word daily then the healthy spiritual condition of myself starts to slip and I mentally begin falling to pieces, similar to the family’s old farmstead.
I love these practical verses below (from Proverbs 4) to help keep on track:
‘My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.’ -Proverbs 4:20-27
As I keep my mind focused on God I do better mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The same is true of anyone who refers to themselves as a Christian.
At the end of Luke 6 (I’ll paraphrase) Jesus says through a parable that those who hear His words and put them into practice are like a man building a house, who digs down deep and lays the foundation on a rock, and when the flood comes the house cannot be shaken by the torrent because it was well built. Verse 49 follows with this: “But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Goodness the imagery of those verses compared to venturing through a barren farmstead speaks boldly (and with warning) through sunken floors and cracked foundations…
As interesting as it is roaming the premises, it also serves as a stark encouragement that my faith can’t endure through negligence and never wants to be represented like a house built without a solid foundation.
Making time to get closer to Jesus helps me maintain a healthier me—and then my heart is truly grounded on a solid foundation that doesn’t settle on a chance of coming apart haphazardly. This type of committed growing-faith requires care and dedication from deep within in order to stand firmly against all odds.