That is a picture of my family and I, taken yesterday by my dad, gazing up at the Torre pendente di Pisa or the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”. The structure is a “campanile”, Italian for a freestanding bell tower. It’s construction began in 1173, and it was completed in 1372. To actually see it in person is quite spectacular, to say the least. Pictures do not do it justice.
The tower began to tilt during it’s construction, which was caused by an inadequate foundation. It was built on ground which was too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight.
According to livescience.com, click here:
“A few ill-advised construction projects accelerated the Leaning Tower’s invisibly slow fall during the past couple of centuries; it tilted 5.5 degrees, its acutest angle ever, in 1990. By all calculations, the tower should have toppled at just 5.44 degrees, but fortunately it defied the predictions of computer models just long enough for engineers to come up with a fix.
Restoration work undertaken from 1999 to 2001 stabilized the tower. Engineers placed weights on the structure’s north end, while at the same time extracting soil from below, causing it to slowly sink back in that direction.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa still leans south, but now it does so at just 3.99 degrees. Barring a large earthquake or other unforeseen catastrophe, engineers believe it will stay put for at least a few hundred years.”
The tower is a great example as to what happens when foundation is not properly established. The city of Pisa nearly lost the foundation of it’s tourist industry and economy, until engineers worked to restore a safer angle of the tower back at the turn of the millennium.
Gazing up at the tourist attraction made me think of something that Jesus had taught regarding the foundational grounding of one’s worldview. Jesus had “lifted up His eyes on His disciples” (Luke 6:20), and then spoke the following words at the end of the “Sermon on the Mount”. Luke records them this way:
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and does them, I will show you what He is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Jesus (who is God) taught those listening that one’s expression of one’s worldview is rooted in where one’s hearts is at: “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” In other words, the foundation of our worldview is the basis by which we live and express ourselves. Everyone who comes to Christ and does His words is like, “a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.” That rock, that foundation… is Jesus Christ Himself. However, “the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.” Such a foundation is akin to the grounding upon which the Torre pendente di Pisa was built. As a result of such poor grounding, just as the Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts askew, so do the crooked worldviews which rest upon nothing.
We (Christians) must always be aware of what type of ground our hearts, thinking, and life rests. Such awareness will keep us fixed, firm and straight, unwavering, as we disciple the saved, or evangelize the unsaved (those of whom God has put in our lives).
“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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