THE PURPOSE WAS LOST IN THE BUILDING
BY T. F. TENNEY
A number of years ago I stood at the end of the fountain and its attendant water that rests before the Taj Mahal. It was one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Taj, as it’s called, is one of the most elegant buildings and most costly mausoleums ever built.
I’ve heard in different forms the unique story of its origins. In 1629, the favorite wife of a famous Indian ruler Shah Jahan died. He was so grieved until he began the building of this marvelous monument as a place for her tomb. It was to be a perpetual memorial to her.
In the beginning of its construction, the Shah had his wife’s remains – either a casket or an urn containing her ashes – placed in the middle of the ground upon which the construction of the Taj was to commence. He literally wanted the monument built around her remains.
Several years into the undertaking, his grief gave way to a passion for the building and the project itself. The story goes that while inspecting the site one day he stumbled over a wooden box. He then ordered the workers to throw it out. It was in the way. Several months later he realized that this box had contained his wife’s remains. According to the story, they could not find it anywhere. They feared it had been destroyed. In essence, the original purpose for the memorial was lost in the details of its construction.
I don’t know if this story is truth or legend. I’ve heard it in various forms through the years. The theme certainly contains a truth. You can lose the purpose of the project while pursuing the project itself. It is so easy to follow a vision yet to lose your focus along the way.
This is a generation that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. How many times have I commented that it is easy for the machinery to clank on long after the oil has drained out. Don’t forget your purpose. Don’t get so caught up in the project itself. Buildings, organizations, committee meetings, hospital visits, sermon preparation, etc. – all of this is about a man called Jesus and a place called Calvary.
Building a life, even a ministry, is a noble purpose. But let’s not be like the Shah and while we are building our Taj Mahal forget the purpose for which we initially began the effort. It boils down to this. Jesus is Lord! Love Him and make Him known. That is the magnificent obsession of our souls, lest we wake up and say, “Where is He? We have lost Him in the midst of our activity.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE PENTECOSTAL VOICE OF TENNESSEE, JULY 2001, PAGE FIVE. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.