Today’s reading: Job 25-27, Matthew 12:24-50
Several years ago an acquaintance of mine was working on a utility construction project between Jersey City and Manhattan. They used a helicopter to transport materials and workers as needed and often flew close to the Statue of Liberty. One thing that he found remarkable was the amount of detail that the sculptor had crafted into the top of the head and crown. When the work on the statue commenced in 1876 there is no way that sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel could have foreseen that people would one day be able to fly over the statue and appreciate the craftsmanship that could never be seen from the ground. So why did the do it? Most likely because Bartholdi knew he was a sculptor at heart. Although the public may not ever be aware that a shortcut had been taken, Bartholdi would know. As Jesus taught in Matthew 12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” Bartholdi recognized that the Statue of Liberty would be his legacy, his fruit. She would stand for generations as a silent witness to his skill. No compromise would be acceptable. Jesus went on to teach in Matthew 12:34, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Such is the case with our friend Job. Job was confident of his relationship with God. From his prospective, Job may not have understood the “why” in all of this but he was not going to allow his friends to persuade him of something he knew was not true. I love the way Job proclaims it to Bildad.
Job 27:3-6, “as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it: my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.”
Job probably didn’t know what he was sculpting here. He could not have known that thousands of years later we would be looking in on his legacy and marveling at his commitment to detail. So as you go on about living today I hope you will consider those things you are sculpting, and the fruits that will remain to define who you were.