Check the foundation

House hunting is probably something most of us have experienced. Whether it is buying or letting a place, it is a time consuming and absorbing experience. Often there is an estate agent involved, showing us around the property and pointing out certain flaws and features. The one thing none of us ever want to hear when inspecting a house or apartment that we are considering moving into is that there is a crack in the foundation. That is a deal-breaker. A leaking roof and damp walls we could perhaps handle, but no one in their right mind would buy or live in a property with an unstable foundation.

A house needs a stable foundation. In a way, the Corona virus pandemic, which the world is facing right now, is acting as a building inspector. It reveals and exposes certain flaws and cracks in our lives. The things we have chosen to ignore or not to deal with are now coming to the surface. Relationship issues, career issues, money issues, health issues, all of those are surfacing in some form or another now.

But what this inspector is mainly interested in is the foundation on which we have chosen to build our house. Is it stable? Is it strong? Will it be able to withstand the storms? There is a beautiful story about two men who decided to build a house. The wise man built his house on a solid rock foundation. The rain poured down, the rivers overflowed, and the wind blew hard against the house, but it did not fall, because it was built on rock. The foolish man, in contrast, built his house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers overflowed, the wind blew hard against the house and it collapsed.

We are currently experiencing one of the fiercest storms in human history. This storm is relentlessly levelling all structures that are not built on a solid foundation. We thought we had it all figured out. Our consumer-focused and greed-driven world, which was based on the attitude that the winner takes it all, had been running like clockwork. And then the storm came and ripped our house apart. Right before our eyes, an economic meltdown is unfolding that our generation has not seen before. Millions of people will probably lose their jobs and many businesses will close down, with dire consequences for millions of people, not only in South Africa but around the world. Suddenly we are being confronted with the stark reality that we may run out of money, which is sending us into a state of panic, anxiety, and fear.

Why? Because money is no longer just a commodity in our lives; it had become our foundation. We were even willing to trade our soul for it. Without money, though, our life collapses. It defined us. We built our house on it. We bought stuff with it and that stuff gave us power and a certain standing in society. It set us apart from the rest. We bought things we did not need, with money we often did not have, to impress people we did not like. It was all a show. We became shallow and superficial. We became arrogant and lost our compassion for each other. We started to exploit people and our natural resources to feed this senseless drive to accumulate as much we can. But now this storm has exposed all of that.

How can we tell what kind of foundation our house is built on? Easy: houses built on sand are built with things that money can buy. It is external. It pleases the ego. Take that away and the house collapses.

A house built on a rock can withstand the strongest storms because it is not focused on the external. It is anchored in love. It looks at life through the window of the soul. It engages fully with life to create abundance and beauty without the need to compete, exploit or harm. Such a house cannot lose anything because the stuff that has real value is something no money can buy.

It is interesting that some people panic and some people are peaceful during this storm. Perhaps it is a matter of our foundations after all.