Are we building or demolishing?
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7
With the overriding of historical facts, October 12 is now observed in our nation as National Heroes Day, when we celebrate those who have made outstanding contributions in some form or the other; but not many miles from the capital, there were those of us who travelled to Florida to cash in on the Columbus Day sales. I guess it’s to each his own.
As a tribute to those who were honorees for the year 2019, I go to Ecclesiasticus 44:1-15: “Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations. The Lord apportioned to them great glory, his majesty from the beginning. There were those who ruled in their kingdoms, and were men renowned for their power, giving counsel by their understanding, and proclaiming prophecies; leaders of the people in their deliberations and in understanding of learning for the people, wise in their words of instruction; those who composed musical tunes, and set forth verses in writing; rich men furnished with resources, living peacefully in their habitations – all these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times. There are some of them who have left a name, so that men declare their praise. And there are some who have no memorial, who have perished as though they had not been born, and so have their children after them. But these were men of mercy, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten; their prosperity will remain with their descendants, and their inheritance to their children’s children. Their descendants stand by the covenants; their children also, for their sake. Their posterity will continue for ever; and their glory will not be blotted out. Their bodies were buried in peace, and their name lives to all generation. Peoples will declare their wisdom, and the congregation proclaims their praise.”
Then to all who would wish to be honored, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “The Builders” teaches us that life sits atop the building blocks of time and that our actions today give rise to our tomorrow. We are the architects and builders of our lives, and if we want to attain our own version of success, we must put in hard work and energy. In many cases, this is where we fall down only to blame others for our failure. At the end of our lives, many will be judged on waste of precious time.
All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
Nothing useless is, or low; Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.
For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.
Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.
In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.
Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.
Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.
What a wonderful nation we will be if each one of us becomes a builder – not for this time alone, but for times to come. Are we building or demolishing?