Point of Inspiration: Devotionals for Personal and Corporate Worship

Robert D. Pace

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Seven Wonders of the Modern World its story is interesting. It is white marble bell tower situated in a cathedral complex. Construction began in 1173 and wasn’t completed until three architects had exhausted their labors over the course of 199 years. Bonano Pisano was the initial architect and builder who’s work stopped when the tower had only three and a half stories but he quit working when he noticed its foundation was flawed. Ninety years later, with the structure leaning, another architect undertook the project. He should have torn it down but he attempted to correct the tilt by making upper floor adjustments. He added three and a half more tiers but realized his efforts didn’t correct the problem either. Eighty years later, a third architect simply capped the structure with a dome. But that didn’t correct the problem either. Today, over 800 years later, the tower leans 17 feet to the south and each year it sinks a fraction farther. Architects studying the structure are in agreement: it will inevitably fall!

Here’s what’s interesting: This was a construction effort that spanned 200 years that never corrected the essential flaw. It didn’t matter that the structure was made of marble or that upper-level adjustments were made to correct its tilt. For 800 years the edifice has served only as an ornamental bell tower and unfit for human occupation, all because its foundation was flawed. Is not the moral of this story evident? The most important aspect of any structure is its foundation! If the foundation is flawed the entire building is vulnerable. Remember, too, Christ’s Parable of the Two Builders: one built his house on sand and the other on bedrock. During a great storm one house collapsed and the other survived. Thus, we understand each builder gained his reputation according to the foundation he laid: one was wise; the other foolish!

As I write this, I hear the roil of thunder in the sky and it reminds me that no one can escape the storms of life. But the Good News is, it takes but One Rock to make the difference: Jesus Christ! As the Apostle Paul declared: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11, NIV).

(This devotional is taken from Robert D. Pace’s sermon “Your Foundation, Firm or Flawed” and it can be viewed in full here.)