The Importance of Solid Foundations

When I’m working at the office or traveling to the office I usually opt for a good podcast, like many of you do. Sometimes music just doesn’t cut it when you’re going thru a difficult season of life. Especially if those melodies stir painful memories in the subject matter. Yet the information contained in a good sermon or life skills podcast can offer up perspective that we may just as easily have overlooked in the past.

Such is the case with one particular podcast I came across called the Jocko Podcast. I don’t know that much about it since I just started with one episode. But in short, it’s a podcast hosted by a retired Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink and director, Echo Charles that discuss discipline and leadership in business, war, relationships and everyday life. Yet from the particular podcast I had selected (Ep. #56), Jocko mentioned how the root of the show always seems to drift into the exploration of human nature at some point.

I had hoped to learn how to better manage stress and sleep deprivation, since that was what was in the episode’s description, yet it ended up being so much more than just that.

The episode was an interview with Peter Attia, MD a surgeon at the time who had trained mostly with trauma patients coming in from “the corner,” (more specifically, the corner of Fayette Street and Monroe Street in West Baltimore),  a war zone of drug trafficking and gang violence at the time. At one point in the interview, Jocko asked Peter if he learned anything during his time in the medical field about human nature there that was surprisingly positive and surprisingly negative to him.

Peter said that he made an observation that in retrospect seemed rather obvious, yet he would’ve never thought about it as such and to this day still serves him well to understand it.

He said that when he saw patients with a devastating illness or situation that would inevitably cause anyone great distress in their lives, he noted that the families that came in already fractured would splinter off even more as a result. Yet the families that were already tight with a solid relationship in place beforehand would become even tighter as they went thru their circumstances together.

Jocko noted the same thing on another angle with his experience in combat—the guys who came in already messed up and unstable would leave the battlefield even more so, compared to the guys who already had a firm foundation going in.

This got me thinking about how important followers of Jesus Christ also need to be firmly rooted in their beliefs should they ever experience such hardship. That way we can still be reminded that no matter how pleasant or painful a circumstance may be, God uses these events to shape and sometimes re-shape us to become more like Christ Himself. If we don’t have that firm footing in place, especially in our relationships and our personal lives, we will crumble under the weight of any seemingly terrible circumstance.

And here in this podcast, we have two guys, who aren’t approaching their observation from a Biblical sense, but are still coming to the same conclusion, in essence. Fractured in, fractured out. Solid in, solid out.

So make note of what you’re building your foundation upon. Will your building materials be strong enough to survive a crisis? Looking towards the eternal perspective, will it stand the test of time long after you’ve left this world? Will it show up as evidence when it comes time to make the case for spending an eternity with God?

For as the Apostle Paul writes on laying solid foundations, they serve as evidence of our faith in Christ. But only when using the right materials to construct it to begin with…

1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

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