Venice, Italy flooding

Foundations Matter

We visited Venice, Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary many years ago. It’s one of the most unique cities in the world, primarily because of how it was built. The city was constructed on a saltwater marsh as a seafaring city. Beautiful mosaics feature the Venetian culture and history, and it’s one of the few cities that is instantly recognizable by the waterways that dissect it in hundreds of ways. Gondolas transport tourists down the narrow canals as the gondoliers sing to the passengers. At night, St. Mark’s square is home to the “battling orchestras” associated with different restaurants. We spent an evening walking around the square, listening to each orchestra seek to overshadow another. It was magical!

But everyone who lives there has water boots. In fact, the day we arrived, I had to wade through seawater that had collected on the square because of a high tide. Stoves, furniture, and shop supplies are frequently up on stilts because flooding is a recurring problem. Water boots are a staple piece of clothing, just as jackets are for us in the winter.

The city is sinking. The construction was a marvelous achievement, and at first glance, it’s breathtaking and wonderful. It has lasted for hundreds of years, but all the while, the city has been sinking, and the tides are inundating the city. A billion-dollar project to control the tide’s flow into the city has had only marginal results and has been a scandalous experience. The problem is the FOUNDATION of the entire city–it’s a marshy, sandy bay that was flawed from the very beginning.

Foundations matter. They matter for buildings, and they matter for finances, and they matter for the human spirit. A few weeks ago, I addressed our high school and college students and urged them to start right from the beginning with healthy financial practices and attitudes. “You’ll never have a better opportunity than the one you have right now!” Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount and made this observation:

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”

Jesus offered us a foundation for LIFE that was solid, dependable, and lasting. But it’s not just knowledge that does it. Knowing the teaching of Jesus happens to people who succeed and those who fail. The difference is this phrase: “and FOLLOWS it.” The right information without the right action is powerless. Foundations matter, but not when they are left only in the realm of theory or blueprints without acting on the information in healthy ways. I must respect Jesus’ wisdom enough that I put it into practice or follow it. THEN, I can expect to be resilient in tough circumstances. But if I don’t, I am simply waiting for disaster to “flood” my life.

Foundations really do matter!

Do you have a


Text us today about baptisms, if you are new, or wish to get plugged in.
Translate »