August 7 – All Fall Down

Read: Ezra 4:24-6:22, 1 Corinthians 3:5-23, Psalm 29:1-11, Proverbs 20:26-27 

Relate: Work began on August 14, 1173. The freestanding bell tower in the Piazza del Duomo was going to be the greatest bell tower in all of Europe. In the desire to begin this building with such a grand design, corners were cut. An inadequate foundation, only three meters in poor soil, was laid before the real work was set to. They didn’t want to waste time digging deep, they wanted to build tall. For the first five years, it was no big deal. Nobody noticed anything. While working on the second floor in 1178, people began to notice something strange. Everything was tilting to one side.

Fortunately, nearly a hundred years passed before the third floor could be completed. Thanks to nearly a century of almost constant warfare, the ground beneath the building was allowed the time it needed to settle. I don’t normally consider war a good thing, but in this instance, one happy side effect was that it prevented the bell tower of the Piazza del Duomo from complete collapse. In addition to this, compensation was made for the tilting by future architects. They made all subsequent floors slightly taller on one side than the other. As a result, the leaning tower could also technically be called the curving tower of Pisa. In modern times, the foundation has been shored up on one side. So, since 1990, the building has a 3.9 degree tilt rather than its prevıous 5.5. You can’t completely get rid of the tilt. After all, it is what has made the Leaning Tower of Pisa so famous.

React: Is our life off kilter? Are we headed for an inevitable collapse? When work first began on the bell tower, nobody noticed anything was wrong. It was only after years were invested, countless man-hours had been put to work, and millions spent on the building before anyone started to notice that something was wrong. Have we been moving through an unbalanced life completely ignorant of the impending danger? Have we been investing our time and money in worthless things while ignoring the small subtle signs that the life we are leading is heading towards a collapse? No life built on any other foundation than Christ can stand. Ultimately they will all fall down.

Respond: 

Dear God,
Let me always be rooted and grounded in You. Don’t let me build anything, do anything, invest in anything that does not have You as its source and purpose. I recognize that nothing outside of You can stand. Help me to stand straight and tall and proud. Be my foundation.
Amen

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12 thoughts on “August 7 – All Fall Down

  1. “You can’t completely get rid of the tilt. After all, it is what has made the Leaning Tower of Pisa so famous.”

    Maybe my own “tilt” is what makes me “me”. And rather than be “transformed” out of a tilt and back to the “standard perfect” – becoming something I never was, maybe I should become the curvy me, the settled me, the waiting for the war to cease so I become what I am: the me I was created to be!

    (just a thought prompted by yours) 🙂

  2. I don’t know…. but without this major flaw this tower wouldn’t be the worldwide known masterpiece…. maybe it works the same for us…. 🤗

  3. What an incredible reflection! I would love to write a multimedia devotion like yours, with the apropos song, and such a wonderful link to the readings!

    Thinking on the foundation upon which we build ….

  4. Great post and comments. I am in total agreement about the necessity of having Christ as our foundation. Everything else may be stripped away in an instant, but no power on earth can remove us from Him, in whom we’ve put our trust.

  5. Jesus is my center, the Good Shepherd; life without God’s love makes one bossy, hollow, ignorant of possibilities, but it does not mean we cannot sustain life. There are those who find, “One great step; one great step for mankind.” The only change I would make “for humankind,” inclusive of all genders. Was landing on the moon God’s will or humankind’s will? Perhaps? We can never know, because the powers of Ya’ way are infinite.

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