Genesis 11:4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Ages ago men tried to build a tower to heaven in order to be known forever, and today we’re all still unsuccessfully trying to complete our own version of Babel.
I struggle frequently with the feeling that my life is not making a lasting impression. That I’m not doing anything big or important. I want to be remembered beyond my meager allotment of years on earth. For over a decade I dreamt of being the President of the United States – building a legacy that would last for generations. Like the saying says “Go big, or go home.” – I’m in that camp.
Just like those tower building folks way back when, I fall into the trap of thinking my significance is constructed with what I do. By how much I accomplish. In tallying the end results. I’m afraid of my own mortality, the fact that I don’t get to be here forever. I’m not scared of dying, but of being forgotten. Of my life being inconsequential, just a blip. I haven’t moved past the ancient need to be important – to myself & to other people. I haven’t recognized that I’m already important to God – and that’s all that matters.
Instead of laboriously piling bricks to make a tower of self-importance in this life, I should be recognizing the eternal. To live a life full of significance is to dump my time and energy into things that will last. Things that, well…aren’t things. People are the enduring part of life. That’s what the Babel builders lost when their language was all jumbled – people. Without the ability to communicate, not only did they not complete their tower, they lost community with each other. They scattered.
Lord, help me not to become so focused on building my own tower, that I miss the family and friends building life with me. Allow me opportunities to choose the things of eternal significance, rather than fulfilling selfish ambition.