I wonder if fairy tales sometimes spin out of Scripture?
Do you remember the story of The Three Little Pigs? I thought I had an original idea about this fairy tale until Google told me otherwise. Apparently, dozens of sermons from a variety of denominations have been written connecting that story to this one:
1 Corinthains 3:12-15: “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”
Every one of those sermons goes way deeper than my own simple thought about there being a moral lesson connecting the fairy tale and this real-life observation from Paul to the people of Corinth: That “easy” rarely results in the best outcomes; that hard work and dedication pay off.
Of course, the focus of that hard work and dedication must be on God’s eternal kingdom—not on worldly things like building grand houses…or remodeling little cabins.
So what kind of work can I do at this point in my life that will have eternal value? I know that I will land in heaven when this life is over. But I don’t want to come into God’s presence by the skin of my teeth, with all of my accomplishments burned up, worth nothing. It’s not about the reward; it’s about pleasing God—about using this little bit of life I have left to do something worthwhile.
I know that I should be doing more than resting on my own firm foundation; I should be helping others do the same.
Good grief, Father. I know that my doing doesn’t need to be something big. I know I don’t need to rush off to Haiti or hop a Mercy Ship. I know it’s about how I live day to day, making use of the opportunities and connecting with the people You place in front of me.
So Lord, I ask that You search my heart and let me know if there’s anything I’m doing or planning to do that is ridiculously superfluous, even as You direct my path forward toward things that have eternal value.
Guide me to those people and opportunities that need whatever I have to offer. Fill me up with Your Spirit so that my heart overflows with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
And please let me just relax in the knowledge that as I trust and submit to You, I will grow strong and accomplish whatever You set before me. Because as You’ve promised in Isaiah 40:31:
Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Thank You for all of it, Lord. Amen.