A Builder or a Wrecker

Edgar “Eddie” A. Guest wrote over 1100 poems. Years ago I memorized one of them. The philosophy it involves has influenced my life. It now follows:
As I watched them tear a building down
A gang of men in a busy town
With a ho-heave-ho, and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the side wall fell

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need.”

“I can easily wreck in a day or two,
What builders have taken years to do.”
And I thought to myself, as I went my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Am I shaping my work to a well-made plan
Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks to town
Content with the labor of tearing down?
“O Lord let my life and my labors be
That which will build for eternity!”

This poem asks a question each of us should ask of ourselves. Which are you?

Builders are given to inspiring, lifting loads, making people happier, putting hope in the heart of the downcast, elevating attitudes, giving a cause for living. They see on the horizon of life a bright uplifting light that energizes, elevates and edifies. Builders make homes happier, work spaces brighter, and friendships closer. Just being in company with a builder is inspiring. Instinctively they sense the need for a kind word, an antidote for despair, a positive presence. They know the awesome power of a listening ear and offer it. Fears are calmed, a will to carry on motivated, and a renewed outlook engendered by focusing on the bright side of life. People leave their presence with a spring in their step, a smile on their face, and hope in their heart. Summarily they lighten your load and brighten your road.

Of them God’s word says: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Romans 14: 19)

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (I Thess. 5:11). “Let all things be done for edification” (1 Cor 14:26).

Edify and edifice come from the same root. To edify is to build up. Do it.