I’m no master craftsman. I like working with my hands, but you’d probably couldn’t tell it from the quality of the few simple things I’ve built. Most of the work I do in the yard, or in the garage, or around the house, is accomplished with lots of short-cutting, trial and error, and words that probably wouldn’t make my pastor proud.
Take the clock April’s parents bought us recently. It’s a big wall clock, and too heavy, I figured, to hang by a single nail from our sheetrock walls. So out comes my stud finder, some picture-hanging wire, some screws and nails, a hammer, laser level, pencil, and some wood glue. Seriously. For a clock.
It took me a whole afternoon to hang that clock. The wall where it hangs now boasts about half-a-dozen new nail holes. And two weeks later, the clock fell. Y’know, because even with enough tools to build a clock, I apparently didn’t get the job done right.
Still, there it is, on our bedroom wall, safely secured for the last couple of months without incident (hopefully it’s still there when I get home this afternoon).
When it comes to hanging a clock, it doesn’t matter too much how you go about the job, as long as, in the end, you’ve got a clock on the wall. When it comes to building a temple, though, the means matter as much as the ends.
The book of 1 Kings details Solomon’s construction of the temple his father, King David, planned as a dwelling-place and house of worship for God. Two whole chapters are devoted to describing the temple’s intricate design and construction. Tucked away in all that detail is one verse that catches my eye every time I read it:
The stone blocks for the building of The Temple were all dressed at the quarry so that the building site itself was reverently quiet-no noise from hammers and chisels and other iron tools. (1 Kings 6:7)
I love that King Solomon intended his temple to be so reverent that even during its construction he wouldn’t allow the clamor of tools and stonework. It’s a devotion to reverence we can learn from today.
Our world is a noisy, hurried one. Americans – and most of the modern world, I’ll bet – are surrounded constantly by… stuff. Cell phones. Radios. Televisions. The hum of computers and buzz of flourescent lights. Cars and trucks. Airplanes overhead. Clocks ticking. Other people calling for our attention.
Set aside some time today for quiet. Pay attention to the means by which you communicate with God. He’s worth finding the time to slow and quiet down.