Friday, August 11, 2006

A Parable

From Stand Firm in Faith blog:

A very wealthy man wanted to build a luxurious mansion that would never fall
or be destroyed. He knew that the foundation of the house was key, and
being wealthy, he decided to build his house on a foundation of the hardest
substance in the world, diamonds. After carving out a trench on a granite
hilltop overlooking the sea, he laid a foundation of bricks made of diamond.

Now, you can imagine how wonderful the house itself was if it were built on
a diamond foundation.

Well, the house stood for generations, and the man had several children who
had several children. Each successive generation, being larger than the
previous, ended up adding on to the house. At first, the children and
grandchildren either added on upper floors in order to be safe on the firm
foundation of diamonds. Some generations even expanded the original diamond
foundation and added on to the house as the original building father

After some time, the descendants of the building father decided that the
father had been silly to make such an over-the-top decision to use diamonds
in this way. They began to build apartments (attached to the original
house) that were simply laid on the hilltop. These new apartments did not
look nearly as nice as the original house, but the children were happy
because they had saved so much time, money and effort.

Soon, the attached apartments spread past the granite hilltop onto regular
soil, but the children just kept on building and building. These new
apartments started looking pretty trashy, and, in an effort to fix them up
and make their lives more luxurious, some of the children started mining out
the diamonds from the original foundation and selling off the assets to
purchase cheaper materials that looked nice but had no real substance.

Finally, one generation got so bold and defiante that they decided to build
a luxurious apartment that was attached to the main structure but hanging
out over the sea with no foundation whatsever underneath it. It was a
beautiful apartment, not as nice as the original mansion, but very
appealing. The children had great parties with music, dancing, feasting and
laughing -- they laughed heartily at their brethren who were struggling to
follow the father's original plan for solid building.

For a time, the solid structure was able to support the hanging apartment,
but, after a while, at one of the great parties, the dancing was so intense,
and the food so heavy, the apartment fell into the sea. Unfortunately, as
it ripped away from the main structure, it dragged some of the hilltop
apartments with it (those that were not built on a solid foundation). Some
of the apartments that were not carried into the sea, but had had the
diamond foundation mined away were damaged or destroyed.

But, the original mansion . . . the one the father had built, was completely
unharmed. The surviving children finally saw the beauty and value of the
father's original plan and committed themselves to living on the foundation
supplied by the father without trying to add on cheap shells of buildings
that had nothing solid on which to stand.


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