Not How, but What

We spend a lot of time focusing on how we’re standing and not much time on what we’re standing on. Let me give you a rather mundane example from my rather mundane life. As you may know (or are finding out for the first time today), I play keyboards. Because of my job as church musicer, I often end up standing while playing. Kevin, the guy who fixed my knee, mentioned that I stand strangely. And that’s because years of standing at a keyboard means that one leg is focused on holding the sustain pedal while the other is focused on sustaining me. As you might imagine, my left leg is pretty angry over this. I have to re-learn how to stand so that I’m putting equal weight on both legs. “How’m I standin’? How’m I standin’?” must be a bumper sticker affixed to the inner walls of my brain, considering how often this motto shows up in my day to day thought process.

And I’ll tell you what I hardly ever think about: what I’m standing on. When I stand up in my office, I am trusting my entire weight to concrete spans poured into place over 30 years ago, sitting on a section of earth that was prepped, compressed, rolled and fitted for the tonnage of a building with concrete floors. As I write this, I-beams are suspended overhead with little effort, since the steel pillars are bolted to concrete and countersunk deep into the earth. Once upon a time, a guy wearing a hard hat supervised the mixing and application of concrete, not knowing that I’d be sitting here finishing lunch and freaking out about tonnage ratings, torque, and dry-rot.

It would seem that what we stand on is about 308 times more important than how we stand. Without a firm foundation, we are not standing but rather dancing, involuntary movements dictated by our God-given inner ear’s ability to sense when our balance is whacked. If the building under and over me begins to fall, I don’t really care about how I’m standing. So go ahead and rip that bumper sticker off the inside wall of your brain. Or at least put a new one above it that asks “What’m I Standin’ On?”

The Apostle Paul writes about this with great ease, thanks to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11: “According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” And the people said: Amen.

It’s not how I’m standing that is of primary importance. Sure, that’s part of it. But let’s not put the cart before the horse, the hydrogen battery before the recharging port or the Special Sauce before the Big Mac. Step one in who you are in Christ is realizing that you stand on a foundation which can never ever ever ever be improved upon. There will never be a release of new spiritual concrete that will make your spiritual foundation void. There is no Jesus 2.0 (though you might refer to His return in this way, it’s still the same Jesus). I am on a firm foundation that cannot be moved: Christ and Him crucified. First comes the What. Then the how.

May the Holy Spirit raise our stubborn awareness of the Holy What that we stand upon, lest we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

One more: Amen?

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