Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - Putting the Pieces Together

ronniemcbrayer300 orangeKENTUCKY (2/17/13) - English scholar N.T. Wright uses a powerful example of how our lives fit into the big picture of what God is doing in the world: It is that of a stonemason working on a great cathedral. When these architectural wonders were built during medieval times, the construction process lasted for decades, even centuries.

It would begin when an architect drew up schematics and then passed his instructions to a team of masons. One mason shapes stones for a particular tower; another carves gargoyles or statues of saints, martyrs, or royalty. Others labor in the quarry cutting roughhewn blocks. And all the while other entire departments are busy with their work too.

When the workers are finished with their projects, whatever they may be, those projects are handed over with little knowledge of how they all fit together, or how these pieces contribute to the final product. Since most of the workers will not live to see the building completed, they are forced to trust that the architect will make their work count.

Wright concludes his example by saying that the “work we do in the present only gains its full significance somewhere in the future.” It is a future we may not live to see, so we must trust the Architect to fit our lives and our work into the cathedral he is building.

Nowhere is this illustration more apt than when it comes to our families. We carve the stones that are our children or grandchildren. We chip away at those strained relationships with our siblings or parents. And we sand and cut the stones that make our marriage. We don’t know what it is all going to look like in the end. But we do the work put before us, and we trust God to put the pieces together.

Certainly, we know the work of “family construction” that is put before us is hardly ever easy, even though we preacher-types don’t always acknowledge this fact. We are swift to give the impression that if your family is not constructed of a strong, spiritual bring-home-the-bacon father, a faithful, loving stay-at-home mother, and two and a half obedient, always compliant children, then your family isn’t “biblical” and your work is defective in some way. This is absolutely preposterous.

If ineptness at home were a disqualifier, no family would ever have a future, for every family is dysfunctional in one way or another; it is simply a matter of degree. This proves true especially with the “biblical” families found in the Scriptures. You will be hard pressed to find a family in the Bible – not even Jesus’ own family that once tried to hide him in a padded room – that is not seriously flawed.

“Biblical” families, with all their murder, adultery, polygamy, sexism, violence, and envy are far less operational than most of our families, and I think that’s the point. If God can use them, if God’s goodness isn’t thwarted by them, if God can build his glorious cathedral with them, then he ought to be able to use, bless, and preserve our families as well.

So if this is your third marriage, well make this third one the charm, and keep working at it. If one of your children will not talk to you, talk to the ones who will, and keep chipping away. If your in-laws hate you, treat them with respect and just get your work done today. If you are constructing familial reconciliation and your efforts seem stymied, swing the hammer and chisel in your hand, and trust the Architect to make it all fit together – even if that work is completed long after you are gone.

When it comes to family, there is the way we “wish” things were, the way things “ought” to be, the way things “should” be, and then there is the way things really are. God and grace come to us there, not in the hypothetical, but in the actual. And his grace will be enough to beautifully construct what we cannot build on our own.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Woman Charged in Assault of 3-Year-Old Child

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/29/14) — An Owensboro woman was charged with two counts of first degree assault following an… Read More

Murray Medical Associates Adds Two Nurse Practitioners

MURRAY, Ky. (8/28/14) — The staff at Murray Medical Associates has recently expanded their primary care medical… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 25, 2014 5252

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 4675

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 4577

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 25, 2014 4497

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 4177

44th Mount Saint Joseph Picnic is Sunday,…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 25, 2014 4497

14-Year-Old Suffers Gunshot Wound; Air…

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 2573

Two Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision Near…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
August 25, 2014 2481

Former Co-Workers Trying to Raise Money…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 26, 2014 2007

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson
August 27, 2014 1388

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - August…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 25, 2014 4177

44th Mount Saint Joseph Picnic is Sunday,…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
August 25, 2014 4054

Daviess County Health Department…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3947

GRADD Seeking Ombudsman Program Volunteers

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 26, 2014 3721

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 3202

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 25, 2014 5252

Flooded Central City Church's Seven Day…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 4577

Camper Stolen in Utica Recovered in…

in Top Stories by Martha Clark
August 25, 2014 3888

Job Corp Celebrates 50th Anniversary

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 25, 2014 3760

Mustangs Marching Classic

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 3450

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06