So, I’ve never thought I was perfect. Even at my most boastful and arrogant, I always knew I had room for improvement. That said, there have been lots of times when I was pretty convinced that what I needed to fix were mostly detail work, the foundation was strong, I just needed to make some slight tweaks here and there and then I’d be all set. Honestly, when life is going well, it’s really easy to feel that way. Then came the longest decade of my life(which is what I jokingly call the first half of 2020). Needless to say, many of us have felt like this connects to the parable of the foundations found in Matthew 7:24-27, and it has really revealed some weaknesses and cracks in the foundation I thought was pretty solid.
I don’t want to paint too bleak a picture, because things are still pretty good. I was at least using the right materials to build my foundation, and some parts of it are holding up really well. The key ingredients for my foundation are faith, family, and friends. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize they were all going to start with “f” until I typed them, otherwise I’d have aimed for some kind of clever name for the group. It’s really the middle two that were about as solid as I thought. I’ve been staying in contact with family and friends throughout, and my time with them has been an incredible source of comfort, and provided a real solid ground to steady myself in difficulties.
My faith hasn’t been a complete disaster, either. When I say that the faith part of my foundation has some serious cracks in it, I don’t mean in terms of my belief. The crack is in how I live my faith, and how that lived experience has impacted my relationship with God. For a long time, I wasn’t able to go to Mass. That was always going to be a significant blow, and in fact should be, but it highlighted to me just how little of my prayer and time with God happened at home in my schedule. Sure, I prayed, but not enough to be able to claim that the faith was the most important part of my life. Other than Mass on Sunday and my Holy Hour on Thursday, I never scheduled time for prayer, I just prayed whenever I felt like it. To be clear, there is a tremendous value in spontaneous, unplanned prayer. However, if I’m going to claim that my faith is the rock foundation of my life, then going through a day without setting aside time for speaking with and listening to God is a major problem.
All of this to say, really, that we need to give our foundation a wellness check. There’s no reason to wait until the house collapses to find out that the pressures and strains of our daily lives are making the cracks in the foundation any bigger.