Wednesday, January 13, 2016
It's Never Too Late to Build a Foundation
I stumbled across many a vital lesson in college; perhaps I should say God often opened my eyes to things I should learn. Whatever. In many a physics class I memorized mathematical formulas or theorems to describe physical actions. I could ace a test by writing down the correct formulas, but often I did not know WHY they were correct. They were the answer, but not necessarily the logical answer. Oh, every now and again I did have the “aha” moment, where some previous foundational lesson clicked with the current study, and then “I saw the light” and reasonableness of an answer. But often I did not.
In physics, there today continues the search for “The Universal Theory of Everything.” Much is known about the big things: the movements of the stars, light, and time. Much is known about the microscopic things: atoms, electrons, and photons. We believers in God know that all things make sense in His plan of creation, but physicists are still looking for the “aha” moment to logically connect all of physical creation’s relationships. Perhaps it will be found, but if it is, it will be a connecting of things already known --- it will be a building on the foundations already created. That’s why it is so important to get the foundations right, and build on them.
Life is like that.
In my physics studies I sometimes forgot the basics, the foundations, of lower math, the calculus, trigonometry, or geometry basics, and so the higher equations didn’t make sense to me. In our colleges these days the social sciences should be building on the basics we learned earlier in our lives ABOUT the foundations of life --- God and family --- but colleges today are not only not building on these teachings, and they are often rebuked as unneeded to understand the complexities of life. They teach that life is what you want to believe it is; there are no foundations.
My friends have a 20-foot living room ceiling. Whenever they wish to paint it, they bring in scaffolding or tall ladders --- foundations to stand on to get the job done right. Our colleges would teach you don’t need those foundations, you can choose to paint that ceiling any way you want. Perhaps that is true, but things will get pretty messy, and it will be a rare ceiling that looks pretty. And when we’re done we’ll wish that --- somehow --- we could have done it better. Life without foundations is life without meaning. It is life without any answer to the question: WHY? It is the physicist knowing many formulas in many areas struggling for the Universal Theory of Everything. It is man trying to understand the works of God, trying to understand: “Why am I here? How should I live?”
Every man was created for a reason, and is a link in the chain of God’s creation. All life IS connected to all life, but we cannot choose how we connect, or the linkage falls apart. There ARE certain foundations, certain rules of life. At one time colleges DID build on things taught in the Church and family --- colleges were started and promoted by the Church. Then the time came when man thought he had discovered a new foundation, one he could more easily build, not in God, but in himself.
We recently celebrated the Baptism of Jesus. Many people question: “Why did Jesus need to be baptized?” A saint described the necessity of Jesus’ baptism this way: The Light of God led the Jews out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and to the way to the Promised Land. This pre-figured Jesus’ baptism, through which He leads us through the waters of Baptism to the Promised Land. Jesus LED us in Baptism. The waters of Baptism, and all Jesus taught us by His life, are Ways to the Promised Land. They are, if you will, the foundations of eternal life. This goal gives life meaning.
If we reject those foundations, those directions, just where do we think we are going? “I am the Way,” He said. Our colleges have confused who that “I” is.
There is one more thing about the faith foundation of life which is most important to remember: that foundation is not just for children to learn. If we forget; if we become lost, it is never too late in life to begin studying Scripture, and the Way to happiness taught there, the purpose of life shown there. It is never too late to try to make sense of your life, to answer the question: Why did God create ME? And then build your life on that.
Ask Him; He will tell you. It does make sense.