January 16, 2013

“Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”  2 Samuel 7:11b

R2-D2 hugI remember going to watch Stars Wars (Episode IV) in the movie theater.  It was almost more than my nine-year brain could take.  I remember walking out of the theater and looking up into to the sky for laser streaks of  epic space battles.  I was not detoured from my fascination with Star Wars due to the absence of intergalactic cruisers above me.

My wish list became replete with Star Wars requests.  I wanted all things Star Wars.  I was part of the first generation that made George Lucas very rich.  I had Star Wars action figures, light sabers and x-wing models.  I even tried to build my own R2-D2.

I conceived my R2-D2 design during one sweltering summer night.  My room was on the second floor of an old farm-house with air conditioning that consisted of an open window.  Sleeping when the temperature gets down to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is difficult.  However, the heat was not a problem on this night.  My imagination was having the effect of a double dose of caffeine and sugar so sleep was not possible.  I rolled through my plans to build myself a robot.  This was going to be great.  I could not wait for the morning.

At some point, I did fall asleep because the morning sun woke me up.  My parents were probably shocked at the speed at which I got my chores done and disappeared into the workshop.  I was on a mission.  My plan was to have a functioning R2-D2 robot by the end of the day.  I could not wait for everyone to see how my robot would follow me around, beeping and chirping, and doing “things”.

As you might imagine, I ran into an immediate problem creating my robot.  I did not have a clue  how to build a robot; all of my daydreaming about having a R2D2 like robot had focused on “having” the robot and not very much on building a robot.  The first challenge was how was I going to make it move.  I didn’t have any electric motors that I could use.  The only electric motors in the shop were my Dad’s tools and they all had cords.  I didn’t want to have to plug-in my robot ; R2-D2 didn’t have a cord.  Thankfully, that eliminated the retrofitting of my Dad’s tools into my robot.  I shutter to think how bad that would have gone.

I decided to leave the concerns of propulsion to a later time and moved on to the structure.  I ran into another problem.  I did not have any R2-D2 like shells that I could use.  The best I had was an old, dented, galvanized bucket.  I figured that would have to work.  Now, how to make it move?  I needed wheels.  I was wise enough to know that scavenging wheels off of the lawn mower, wheel barrow, or cart was a good way not to see the light of day for the rest of the summer.  So, I dove into a couple of boxes of dust and junk.  My reward was four casters of three different types.  A robot has to roll, so they were going to have to work.  I set to work with my supplies in hand.

I finished my robot in about three hours.  My robot debut was to the summer sun, my dog, and a passing cat.  The reviews were very lackluster.  My robot was a metal bucket turned upside down, nailed to a piece of scrap plywood with four wobbling casters beneath, pulled by three pieces of bailing twine, knotted together.  I pulled it around for a little while with great disappointment.  This was nothing like my dreams of the previous night.  However, I learned a very important lesson.

Building a robot is really hard.  Its complexities far exceeded my nine-year old technical capabilities and the supplies of a dairy farm in rural Idaho.

This experience would not be the last for me.  I have many times overestimated my own capabilities.

“That doesn’t look that hard”.                    “Just hit it harder.”

“Yeah, I really need to do that; this is how you do that”.

“If we just follow this list, then it has to work.”

                                   “We need to get a longer bar.”

“Google it – then you can figure it out.”

To the consternation of my wife, my first inclination is still to try to “figure it out”.

This “figure it out” attitude has caused me all sorts of problems when I have misapplied it in my spiritual life.  I have often been like David.  David saw that the he was living in a house of cedar but the ark of God was in a tent.  David thought it would be a good idea to build a house for God.  That sounds like a good idea to me.  Let’s figure it out.

I don’t know what attitude David had about building God a house but given God’s response, I don’t think it was quite right.

David might have had the “poor God; He needs my help” attitude.  Poor God is in a tent.  Therefore, He needs me to build Him a house.

It could have been guilt.  I am living in this really nice house while God is in a tent.  I don’t feel good about that.  God needs a house to make me feel better.  Therefore, I am going to build a house for Him.

He could have been focused purely on the material.  Building God a house is a “no brainer”; I need to build a house. Therefore, I need timbers, stone, craftsmen, etc.

David did not understand the spiritual complexities of building a house for God Almighty.  God dwelling in a building is a task beyond the ability of man.  It is a task similar to a nine-year old building a robot.  It was beyond David’s capabilities.

God reminds David that He doesn’t need him.  David needs God.  God reminds David of all the things that God has done for him: took him out of the pasture, defeated all his enemies, made his name great, and given His people peace.  That was all God.

God tells David that He is the one who will be building a house for David.

Just like David, God is the one behind all the things that we accomplish in our lives.  So often, our “figure it out” attitudes have us trying to build a house for God in that God shaped vacuum in our hearts that Blaise Pascal identified.  It is beyond our capabilities to build an environment within our own hearts for God to live.  There is no amount of housekeeping that will make it suitable.

God is the one who builds a house within us.

We need to remember that all the “good works” that we endeavor to undertake are beyond our capabilities.  We cannot “figure it out”.  The spiritual complexities are way beyond our capabilities to even comprehend.  All of the spiritual fruits that come from everything that we get the privilege to participate in come from God.  God is behind it all.

God is merely calling us to be obedient to him. He is the one who is doing the real work.  We just need to recognize that and give Him the glory that he is due.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the reality that you will be the one who completes the good work that you have started in me.  Father, I know that my sanctification is not something that I can figure out.  Thank you for your Spirit working in my life.  Lord, I acknowledge that anything of any good in my life is due to you and the work that you are accomplishing.  Father, please continue that work.  Don’t leave me like I am.  Lord, teach me how to be an obedient servant that is reliant upon you and not myself.  Teach me how to have a life full of “good works’ that are to your glory.  Amen


  1. Your blog is a blessing for my life. Thanks for sharing it with us. I just nominated for the “Blog of the Year Award”. You can check on my blog “Jesus Boot Camp” to get your award. God bless you!

    • Thank you very much. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I am so glad you are enjoying my blog.
      God Bless and Sola Dei Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!

  2. This article was awesome! I enjoyed how you used your own personal experience! Keep on writing!

    • I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for the comments.
      God Bless and Sola Dei Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!

  3. Great article, got me really thinking. Love the links you use between your story and how it relates to the outworking of God in our lives. Thanks a lot.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I am glad that you enjoyed it.
      God Bless and Sola Dei Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!

  4. I thought this was excellent! Thank you and God bless you!

    • You are very welcome. I appreciate you kind comments.
      God Bless!

  5. […] COMPLEXITIES OF LIFE AND R2-D2 – Jan. 16. […]

  6. Awesome, I wasn’t expecting to find so many blessings here, but I’m glad I took the time to read it. Definitely an area of my life that needs some tuning. 🙂

    • This is great. I am so glad it was encouraging.
      God Bless!

  7. When I hit the “like” button, I said “like” out loud in my “amen” voice. This is good stuff! Thank you for this post.

    • You made me laugh this morning; thank you. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.
      God Bless!

  8. Congratulations! I love your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. yomicfit.wordpress.com
    That being said, I will not be offended if you don’t want to follow the rules 🙂
    I just hope to share your blog with others.

    • Thank you very much. I appreciate the nomination very much and I appreciate your sharing my blog with others.
      God Bless!

  9. Thank you for a wonderful reminder this morning. To God be the Glory for ALL that we do on this earth – it is through Him that we prosper and grow – and build.

    • Amen!
      God Bless and Sola Dei Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!

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