“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
- Luke 14:28-30
I was searching for the word “luck” the other day, for Thursday afternoon’s post. I knew it did not appear in the NIV, but it does not hurt to check. The Scripture above appeared. The search results found zero matches, but sometimes the search engine suggests something that is topically similar.
This Scripture has nothing to do with luck, good or bad. It is all a matter of not finishing what you start.
Of course, a few other sayings come to mind. “You do not plan to fail; you fail to plan.” Or the five Ps of Project Management – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Most people may think of that last one with six Ps, but eliminating the cuss word does not eliminate the meaning, so why not 5 Ps?
But let me tell you a little story:
An area of the country needed a good orphanage. I’m not saying which country or if this is a true story…
Okay, start over.
Once upon a time in a land far, far, away, a city needed an orphanage. Along came a drifter who was passing through town. He prayed and got a vision of an orphanage. He settled in the city and he created an organization to raise money to build an orphanage. While his team managed the project, he went all over getting people to volunteer to build the orphanage.
In the meantime, the locals named him the crazy man with big ideas.
He overcame one obstacle after another until he lacked one final piece. In his vision, that final piece was a marvel of engineering. But marvels of engineering cannot be accomplished by volunteer workforces.
He received pressure from the various churches who were donating tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain what was already completed. These churches said to finish the building without the engineering marvel so that the building could house orphans.
No, he stuck to his vision. Decades passed, and many of the churches quit donating money. One by one, each church started to think that the locals were right. He was a crazy person with big ideas.
This story does not have a happy ending, because without money to finish the project, orphans were never housed in the huge structure.
What is more important? Helping orphans or following a dream.
When you hear something in your head and you think it came from God, you test it against Scripture. At least that is what I have been told to do.
You do not need to look at too many biblical references before you weigh into the argument. Engineering marvel versus helping orphans?
When you hear stories like that, and there are far too many of them, you think the person lost their vision, but when they hang onto a part of that vision and lose their purpose, maybe they were listening to the wrong voice.
Maybe I have been a project manager for too much of my life, but I always believed in getting the job done. And when faced by unsurmountable odds, I found a different path that got the job done. When you are building an orphanage, you have nothing until you have children laughing and playing and eating a balanced diet within the walls of the structure. Without that, you have nothing.
Sometimes it is like Jesus said and you simply ran out of money. You receive and deserve the ridicule.
But when you lose your purpose, you lose why God sent you there in the first place.
Let us keep our eyes on Jesus and the things Jesus taught us to do.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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