Barbecue in Brazil is made by skewering meat on long spits that look like swords and putting them over a barbecue pit that has burning charcoal. That’s Brazilian “churrasco”. Down here in the southern part of the country it is not uncommon for houses to have these brick-made barbecue pits that look almost like an elevated fireplace. These barbecue pits can have long chimneys sometimes often 15 or 20ft tall.
Well, all of this was said to mention that mine came crashing down. The full story:
Winds and storms are not offering a truce these days in southern Brazil. Last week my neighbor’s chimney didn’t resist the wind strength and fell to the ground. And our barbecue sets were wall-to-wall. Then when his fell it brought mine together and both landed not so safely on my roof and in my backyard.Fortunately no one was hurt, no water came inside the house and it won’t cost much to put it up again. That’s the good side of such bad news.
What’s the lesson we can draw from this illustration? Maybe that it is very important to be well constructed so we can resist the bad winds trying to put us down. Ok, right. But there’s another one that comes to mind.
It is not sufficient to have a good construction. One needs also to have good company. Let’s take the chimney’s experience for example. Mine was relatively safe. The wind alone probably wasn’t strong enough to make it fall down. But it fell. Why? Because the one next to it had troubles and didn’t resist the storm. So no matter who was guilty the fact speaks loud and clear: both are broken and spread over the ground.
The company we have. The places we go. The people we listen to. What if they are not “good constructions”? Then no matter how we unshakable we think we are one day or another we are going to fall. The wind will come and their structure will not resist. And….we will come down with them. Then, no matter who was guilty everybody will be on the ground.
The firm foundation to be built upon so we do not fall is Jesus Christ. He builds us sound and safe. And at the same time, Christ stimulates us to sow this faith to influence our world. This way we will gather good company and be surrounded by good construction. The faith that sustains us is the same that influences others and makes people strong enough to face any storm. He is unshakable. So can we be unshakable when we are grounded on Him.
Though winds and storms are unavoidable and often make us bounce, we always can sing with the psalmist: “I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved”.
Paul Lantz, Theology Student
Sao Leopoldo, Brazil