By Terry Livingston and David A. Sargent
The bell tower of the cathedral in the Square of the Italian city of
Pisa is popularly known as "The Leaning Tower of Pisa." It dates from
1173 when the foundation was begun, and it required hundreds of years
for completion due to political disturbances and technical challenges.
Several architects have been credited for contributions, including
Gugliemo, Pisano, and Diotisalvi. It was noted by one of his students
that from this Tower, Galileo conducted some of his experiments on
gravitational descent. Today it is known worldwide as a popular landmark
for tourism due to its historical lean of about 3.97 degrees.
Modern engineers have attributed the tilt of the Tower to its
original foundation, being a mere eight feet in depth and set in
unstable, sandy soil. Throughout its history, it has been in motion,
causing a progression of projects to be done to prevent it from leaning
too far and toppling, such as soil removal and reinforcement with
cables. Interestingly, the builders tried to counter the lean by
designing some of the walls in the upper stories to be shorter than the
opposing walls. Even if the foundation were straightened perfectly, the
ceilings in the upper stories would not be level! Thus, the unstable
foundation led to other imperfections in those things which it supports.
The Tower of Pisa reminds us that a structure is only as stable as
its foundation. Like the Tower, our lives are also built on foundations.
For many, that foundation might be a family history, a career, a famous
philosophy, or political leanings. But like the Tower’s foundation,
these too are subject to shifting and change.
The question is "What foundation could we use to set the structure
of our lives, a structure which is timeless, stable and unwavering?" The
answer is found in Holy Scripture. JESUS CHRIST is that one true
reliable Foundation upon which we may build our lives with full
"On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand." –
Edward Mote. See Matthew 7:26-27. To build our lives on any other foundation will only lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus said: "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does
them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on
that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock"
To build our lives on the solid, eternal foundation of Jesus, we
must place our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our
sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans
10:9-10), be baptized(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our
sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and continue to HEAR His Word, and DO it
(Matthew 7:24-25; 1 John 1:7).
Won’t YOU build your life on the only Foundation that will lead to eternal life?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in
Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled
Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact
David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* Sources: New World Encyclopedia, Iowa State University Engineering Department