It was one of those nights you never forget.
Earlier, the wind had played gently with my trusses; nipping in between the shingles as it whistled upwards towards the towering timbers overhead.
The rain had started too. Falling in lazy, large droplets, spattering across the window panes before making fat little puddles of mud.
Across the street, I could see that the lawn was glistening with droplets. The neighbor lady was busy shooing her youngsters indoors. All were settling in for what we thought would be an ordinary night.
But, things started to change around about midnight. At a time when most homes had long quenched their lights and their owners were solidly tucked between the overstuffed duvets. The wind which had earlier tousled my trusses began to bruise them with vicious ferocity…as though it was now angry.
Lightning streaked across the sky, first wordlessly and then booming with bolts of thunder which rocked me to the core of my foundations. The rain was driving harder now, the wind whipping it into a sideways frenzy which whirled the torrent of droplets around me like a dizzy merry-go-round. Faster, faster, faster…
The commotion rattled my frame. Inside, things stirred as worried occupants looked outside into the pitch darkness, trying to make sense of the ominous ruckus. Lights began to flicker on all across the neighborhood…and then off. As power lines swayed and tree branches crackled and then snapped.
The pounding was unrelenting. Wind, rain, lighting, thunder…all seemingly at war with each other whirling around in a mad cosmic chase which ripped at my very core. It was all I could do to stay anchored to my footings.
I remembered when the builder had laid them down. He was an honest man who took real pride in the five homes that he built every year.
Not one to cut corners, he had personally inspected every step of the job, forcing workman to complete the job to his high standards even when they complained that the delays would cost him dearly. It was his reputation on the line and he cut off their protestations with a fierce look.
The foundations for the house across the street had been dug shortly after my builder got started. Yet amazingly, it had been completed ahead of mine. Causing just a little grumpiness for my homeowners. I couldn’t see everything the crew was doing, but they worked fast…mighty fast to get that house ready. Perhaps too fast.
In the midst of the wretched pummeling, I caught fleeting glimpses of what was going on across the street.
It was hard to see clearly through the inky darkness, but several shingles whipping by my roof line indicated that all was not well. I heard several large crashes and then there was silence. It was as though the wind and rain had simply spent themselves into a muted, angry truce a they ran out of steam.
I couldn’t examine the damage until the sun came up the next morning. I’d lost a few shingles, but overall I was fine albeit a little creaky. A few large branches littered the otherwise pristine lawn which now gleamed with the brilliant green that accompanies a thunderstorm.
Across the street however, a scene of intense devastation was unfolding. Large portions of the roof had been whipped off and an entire corner of the home had simply crumpled into the ground. The foundation wall had shifted and the home looked as though it might topple over at any time. A crowd of concerned onlookers was gathering to survey the damage.
My thoughts drifted back to the wise builder who had had taken such detailed care in laying my foundations. I used to hear him telling his workers that they needed to build as though they were building their own home. In fact, he often refused to build on certain lots when he felt the underlying terra ferma would not be rock solid. Unstable, shifting soil was a guaranteed non starter when it came to undertaking a building job.
I was thankful for the attention had had paid to making sure I had a stable foundation today. I had survived the storm because of it. I had been buffetted by wind, trounced by the rain and beaten silly by the storm, but I had not failed because of a formidable foundation.
I’m struck by the fact that though the storms of life are guaranteed to arise, a stable foundation makes all the difference in the world about what’s left standing after the storm has passed.
Foundations are what anchor us to the earth in a solid fashion. They’re not glamorous. It’s about the basic building blocks of life..and business. The follow-up and follow-through. The simple doing of what you say and delivering beyond expectations. It’s about the phone call, note and thank you card. The research conducted with thoroughness and the listing monitored with diligence.
Foundations are what ensure that you don’t forget who you work for. They remind you that every part of the process in life, relationships and business is another nail which holds together the priceless treasure of a good reputation.
Yes, this story can be found in a truncated fashion in Matthew 7:24-28. It’s actually commonly refered to as the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builder. Because you see, we’re all architects of our own lives. What we build reveals who we really are. It’s a matter of choice…
Copyright 2008 Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved