©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

A construction vehicle thwarted my plan to wow my visiting friend with an impressive view of Duke’s majestic chapel on campus.  

Likewise, our view of the splendor, wisdom and power of God can be obstructed by our worldly endeavors – especially when we’re so busy building

Constructing careers.  Developing skills.  Forming families and friendships.

Adding degrees and absorbing knowledge.  Making money and acquiring material goods.

Are we focusing more on creating than the Creator?

As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”             Mark 13:1-2 NIV

Obscuring the chapel’s marvelous architecture, the construction vehicle moved slowly – very slowly – up the normally scenic drive.  Finally, I was able to turn in front of the chapel’s grassy quad so my friend could photograph the exquisite building, but still at a distance.

“Honk. Honk.”  A car horn behind me shattered the moment.

Our view of God’s magnificence can also be blocked when we allow a disruptive outside force to interrupt our reflection on the Lord’s greatness and His goodness.

A news report.  An upsetting text or email.  A disturbing encounter.

They startle us and divert our focus away from the One who gives us sight.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  John 15:4 ESV

After parking near the chapel, we entered.  Calming, melodious sounds of an organ entered our ears and touched our souls.  Serenity flowed in.  Honks, obstructions and the gray skies of the outdoors fell away.  Further and further we moved into the chapel, passing colorful stained-glass windows on both sides of us. Deep in the chapel, in a small inner sanctuary, we discovered the organist, playing the music we first heard.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:19-20 NIV

God doesn’t want us to stay outside and marvel.  He wants us to move inside, to draw closer to Him, where the rhythm of His life-blood can provide the beat of our hearts.

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  John 11:40 NIV

  • What chapel or church building holds a fond memory for you?
  • Which of the following tend to block the fullness of your experience with God?
    • Time on other pursuits
    • Frustration in daily situations
    • Relationship challenges
    • Sin choices
    • Lack of trust
  • What have you built in life that you can use to help others build their relationship with God?
    • Your skills to mentor, lead or teach?
    • Your vacation home to refresh others with a retreat?
    • Your finances to support sharing the good news of God’s love and mercy?

And it will be said:

“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” For this is what the high and exalted One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy:

“I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”  Isaiah 57:14-15 NIV

Remember…Life Is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!







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