A couple of years ago a friend of ours sent us a Christmas card that had a lovely picture of the wise men crossing the desert in the dark of night, following the brightness of the Star of Hope. There were only five words written on it. Can you guess what they were? I had never heard this until then and I just loved it. Loved it. It said "Wise Men Still Seek Him." Everything about those words appeal to me, beginning with the play on words and ending with the truism it contains with a whole lot of emotional a-ha's in between.
A few weeks ago a man gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. One of the things that he said really struck me. He said, "We know that we are to build our foundation on the Savior, but you can't live on just a foundation. You have to build walls and a roof. You need a place to live, not just somewhere to start building. The foundation is extremely important, but if you stop there, you're missing the point. He said that once we've chosen to have the Savior as the central point of our lives, we can't leave it at that. We have to learn and study. We have to grow spiritually and develop a deeper understanding of the things of God, continuing with Christ as our center point. A sure foundation is the single most important thing for starting your building, but it needs to be added to and built upon.
I started applying this to myself. The talk was given to relatively new members of the church. There is sometimes a tendency (with us all) to get complacent. To feel like, yes, now we understand the gospel so let's try to keep the commandments and call it good. I realized that I have a great advantage over Polish members of the church, in that I was raised in the church and have been learning and studying all my life. You could say that in some ways I know more. I think I have my house built. My foundation is sure, like the wise man's in the parable, and there are walls and a roof. I am mostly unaffected by passing storms. I am resilient because of the practice of my faith over the years.
Then I started to think about that house. What's it like?* Am I keeping up with the maintenance? And what's the interior like? What are the furnishings? It seems this analogy can be taken from the foundation to the walls and roof and even further. Living with just walls and a roof doesn't quite make for what I would call a high standard of living. I would like to have a lovely place to dwell. I would like to be sure that there are no leaks or chipping paint. That the inside is comfortable and cozy. Since the excitement of the actual building of the house ended for me long ago, there are much smaller, but also important things I need to attend to. My life can be greatly enriched by deeper study and a stronger exercising of faith and service and a greater effort made toward selflessness. There are still so many little things I can do to make my house a home.
I want to be a wise man (or probably actually a woman). One who seeks Him. One who builds his (her) house upon the Rock. And one who has excellent home furnishings.
*I like adding in a bit of C.S. Lewis' and his analogy of our "decent little cottage" that the Lord will tear down walls of and hammer and work in all sorts of uncomfortable, and even painful ways because he has planned for us, not a cottage, but a palace.