Busy Builders

calvin framed


When we’re young we build for fun. We build to understand our world. We build because we’re wired to create.

As time goes by, we leave childhood and our building habits change a bit. Sometimes we feel good about what we’ve created. And sometimes we worry if what we’ve built will be acceptable, sustainable – or have lasting worth.

The bricks that make up our life vary in size – each having its own significance. They contain stories representing who we are and where we’ve been.

Dare I say – it’s not as important what we build, as it is what we choose to build with.

Children don’t need mortar for their creations. They live in the moment of their task. They build – they tear down and then create again. In their creating, they are shaped.

The mortar we choose to build with is important. It can turn what was meant to be temporary into a fortress – sometimes holding us hostage for a lifetime. The wrong mortar can be a misguided sense of self worth or fear – it can be the love of money, possessions or unhealthy habits.

Children are here to remind us of our temporary status as builders. We will eventually end where we began.

How God must smile as he watches us. We plan, we construct and we work so hard. Then one day – eventually, we will each come to understand he was the planner and builder all along.

May we be mindful of our choices as we build.

May we choose the eternal substance of humility, grace and love to hold our bricks in place.

And may we be challenged with the awareness of his divine plan for our life.


“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10



15 replies on “Busy Builders”

    1. Thanks John. I love the photo too. The little boy is actually a twin – he and his sister took over the entire driveway with building material. So delightful.

  1. And in the building of “life” its the process rather than the outcome that we learn from. Sometimes the building is easy, other times it is difficult, our character develops, and if we trust the Lord’s leading and have faith in Him (the right mortar is important) the process grows us closer to Jesus. Love this analogy Pat, love the picture too.

    1. Boy, no kidding Kim. I’ve sure seen the “process” grow me in some of my life circumstances – and not always in the direction I was hoping. I guess you could say God selects just the right mortar to do his building in our lives too, right Kim? Appreciate your heart.

  2. “The mortar we choose to build with is important. It can turn what was meant to be temporary into a fortress – sometimes holding us hostage for a lifetime.” This hit me right between the eyes and deep in my stomach. I’m really grateful my faulty building projects didn’t have to last a lifetime!

    1. They have longer than a lifetime implications, I think Rachel. Whether they’re eternally beneficial or detrimental rests in the hands of our decision to remain there, I believe.

  3. This gentle but powerful reminder that we have here no abiding city and that we are not building for permanence is both challenging and comforting. Things are put in proper perspective. How right that the focus should be placed on the process rather than the product, our actions rather than achievements.
    And what a delightful picture.

    1. Beautifully stated Peter – thank you for sharing. You are so right, this place is not permanent and yet our actions have the ability to showcase a relationship with the master builder, which is delightfully permanent. It’s such a lovely plan.

      I’m not surprised you appreciated this sweet picture.

  4. I love this little boy! He’s so focused with the cutest little stance ever. Your post is nice too Pat 🙂

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Lisa. He’s busy doing the most important task of childhood – PLAY! He’s very blessed to have a mom who truly gets it. This picture makes me smile every time I look at it.

  5. Love the picture too! Funny, I was wondering just last week about my conviction of outdoor play for children. We hear so much about proper schooling that involves lots of homework. When I raised my sons in wonderful Santa Cruz it went against my grain to have them stay inside laboring over homework while the sun was high in the sky! Soooo against my friends better judgment I let them play until dark. I believe I was building their little bodies and their minds. We were meant to create, plan, yes AND BUILD! All three of them have big plans, excited about their futures and they are continuing to build and construct their lives. I love how the Lord leads us while we are building. When it’s all said and done we will look at our lives, all that we built, all that He stepped into and changed, and I really believe we will say, ‘IT IS GOOD!” Once again Pat, you ministered to me!

    1. Einstein said, “Learning is experience, everything else is just information.”

      You gave your boys the most valuable gift there is – freedom to explore, create and develop a sense of independence, through uninterrupted play. Childhood is a short part of our journey but the effects of what we experience remain with us for a lifetime. They’re blessed to have you for a mom, Jeannie (even still).

  6. I’m thankful we can know the master architect and trust His designs even when we’re unsure of how the end product will look. So many lessons we can learn from watching kids at play and at work. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. And to think the master architect’s eyes are always on us is a comfort beyond description. Bless your creative juices today, Lisa. You’re an inspiration. Thanks!

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