Perspective: Foundations – part 4 of 4 (Maintenance)

Posted: January 4, 2016 in Perspective
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Foundation - maintenanceNow that we’ve taken the time, energy and effort to build strong, healthy foundations in our life and begun to build successes on them… now what?

I can remember years ago, when I served in the US Navy, a very large portion of my responsibilities was performing maintenance. I worked in the engine room, which for the most part, was built to operate on its own… once we had brought it ‘on-line’. The reactor produced heat, the heat made steam and the steam turned the turbines. Ok, well, it was a bit more complex than that, but the point is, once the reactor and all the other engine room components were operating together the way they were designed, generally speaking, they took care of business on their own. So, what did us engine room ‘rats’ do the rest of the time… yep, maintenance. In order for the engine room components to continue running smoothly, they needed to be routinely maintained. We cleaned, inspected, tested, made adjustments, replaced worn parts, etc. All of this was for the intention of preventing a catastrophic failure. If during full power operations, a single component failure occurred, it could be disastrous. It could cause rapid failure of other components or even worse. Could you imagine the impact of a ship losing its propulsion capabilities while in the midst of a military engagement? Yep, not good!

Our lives operate similarly. We have to be intentional about continually performing ‘maintenance’ on ourselves – body, mind and spirit. What does this personal ‘maintenance’ look like?

A. Guard your heart – though we may have started our adventures with the right motives and intentions, success (and challenges) have a sneaky way of corrupting them. It’s good to periodically take a step back and make an honest assessment as to our motivations now and how they compare to when we first started.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’ – Proverbs 4:23

The number one issue than can cause our ‘foundation’ to crack is pride. Successes and failures both can cause us to become prideful. Success can alter our thinking to a ‘look what I’ve done’ mentality and failures or challenges can cause our hearts to turn inward and not reach out for help when we need it the most. Either scenario is harmful to us, our teams and the future we are striving to build. It’s imperative that in every stage of our building process that we stay humble. We should never forget ‘where we came from’, those who’ve helped us along the way and most of all, God who, by His mercy and grace, gave us all we need to flourish.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts – you will succeed because of my Spirit… with mighty shouts of thanksgiving for God’s mercy, declaring that all was done by grace alone.’ – Zechariah 4:6-7

B. Inspections – whether it’s our cars, homes, navy warship engine rooms or our health; almost everything in life needs to be inspected at times. ‘Cracks’ or flaws can develop; often occurring ‘behind the scenes’, in places that we can’t see but could cause a serious operational failure if not caught in time. Areas like our health, finances, relationships (God, family, friends, etc.), goals, time commitments, etc. all need to be periodically inspected and appropriate adjustments and repairs made to ensure we are still operating smoothly and headed in the right direction.

Also, sometimes it can be difficult to adequately inspect ourselves and we need an outside ‘inspector’ to help us see what areas may need improvement – someone like a mentor, coach, counselor, pastor or honest friend.

‘Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?’ – 2 Corinthians 13:5

C. Expansion – inside all of us is the hope that our lives matter and are successful; growing and developing into something to be proud of. Consider a newly married couple who build their first home, then after a few years, when their family begins to grow with little ones, they decide to build an addition onto their home to hold their growing family. However, they realize the original foundation was not build for an addition, so they will need to enlarge their foundation to support the growth.

In order for us to continue to grow and expand the successes in our life, we also must be looking to expand our foundations to support our new goals, dreams and ambitions. Can you imagine a beautifully well-built home having a brand new addition that was constructed directly on the ground? Nope, me either.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. – 2 Peter 1:5-9

It’s important that we continue to intentionally grow and develop in every area of our lives. Ultimately, this creates a life-style of self evaluation and the willingness to make necessary adjustments along the way. The only successful life we are able to build is the one we are willing to create the right foundations for. God has plans for us… we have dreams and goals as well, but neither will become reality if we don’t take the time to build the proper foundation to support it and then be willing to make regularly inspections and adjustments in order to effectively manage the growth. It works… we just have to do it.

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