At the time I (Bill) was writing 7 Simple Skills for Every Man, I had…
1 kings 6:37-38
“The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.”
Without a doubt, the most important project of Solomon’s life was building the temple. It was the rallying point for the nation of Israel. It was the daily reminder of the power, majesty and authority of God Almighty. People would see the sun shine off the golden structure and remember that God is in our midst.
Getting it to that point, however, took time and a lot of work. The project is described in one chapter but it took 7 years to build. The process required strategic planning, preparation of the building materials, attention to details, countless hours of both skilled and unskilled labor, consistent reminders of the purpose for this project and the recruiting of others to apply their giftedness. It was a magnificent structure that was only made possible with perseverance and perspiration.
It is all the more intriguing when you consider 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” In the days of Solomon, God “dwelt” in the temple built by Solomon. Today, God “dwells” in us. We are the temple. We are the consistent reminder that God is powerful, loving and living among us. The implications jumped off the page at me today:
- My life is a worthwhile project
- It will take time
- I will grow best if I have a strategic plan
- I need to pay attention to the significant details of my life because effectiveness usually comes down to the little things (like being thankful in all things – 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Reminders of my purpose are helpful
- I need the help of others to complete my development
- I need to highly value the preparation phases because important projects take time!
Like most of us, I am generally in a hurry to be what it will take time to become. I want to be smarter now, stronger now and more successful now. Fortunately, God is good at giving reminders that some things in life just take time and there is nothing we can do to change it. I flew from Boston to Orange County, CA this past weekend. On paper it was an eight hour journey including a stopover in Dallas. The weather had other plans, however, so we spent a couple of hours circling the Dallas airport. Running low on fuel, we had to divert to Tulsa, OK to fill the tanks before taking flight to circle Dallas for another hour. I knew we had been at it longer than any of us planned when the flight attendant looked at his watch and said, “Wow, we could have been in London by now!”
Of course, my connecting flight to California was cancelled and the next flight with available seats didn’t leave until 8 pm. When I arrived at my front door at midnight, I realized my 8 hour journey had been transformed into a twenty-one hour excursion of character development. It was a vivid reminder that important projects take time!