Twenty-three years ago, the previous owners of this place poured a new concrete floor for the little barn. Usually, I have no idea who or when things were done but, in this case, there’s pretty clear evidence right there in the floor itself: the names of both parents, the kids, and the year.
To put the floor in, they had to jack up the whole building, prop it in place with temporary braces, cut through all the studs, and remove the lower fifteen inches or so of the wall. Then, they had to build forms around the perimeter, pour, screed, and finish the concrete floor. All while working around the current structure. Pouring a floor is hard enough work, even when unencumbered.
They even went the extra mile, laying down a single course of concrete blocks on top of the new floor around the west and north sides and part of the east side. After that, they installed new sole plates and crippled studs to reconnect the vertical supports. A lot of work.
Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious whose work has laid the foundations of our lives: parents, close relatives and friends, teachers, perhaps even a mentor or two along the way. Other times, the influence is more subtle, maybe a sustained gentle touch rather than apparent moments and events. Either way, the shaping takes place, and we continue becoming who we are, who we’ve chosen to be.
At times, it’s easy to see the Lord’s work taking shape through those various influences. Regardless of ready perception, we know that he is at work in all things for our good.
Whether dramatic or barely discernible, it is good to be mindful of—and grateful for—all of those who have had a part in shaping us. We owe them much, and one of the best ways of showing genuine appreciation is to continue building on the work that has already been done.
Until it is truly completed.