Tomorrow David and I will become homeowners for the very first time. The process leading up to this point has been lengthy, but enjoyable. For a while, I assumed owning a home would feel like winning a trophy at the end of a marathon – that it would be an aesthetically pleasing way to recognize the attainment of a goal.
One day as I sat in a work meeting, the conversation must have turned to something along the lines of ministry and possessions, because I jotted a note to self in my calendar: Things are tools to serve God and others, not an end in themselves.
That’s when I realized that home ownership should be more like picking up a hammer than displaying a trophy. Trophies represent achievement and completion. They are meant to be displayed, perpetually memorializing a job well done. Hammers, on the other hand, are intended to be used. In fact, there’s not much value to a hammer except in its relation to an incomplete task.
Trophies are an end; hammers are a means to an end. Trophies point to a past story; hammers are part of an ongoing story.
A home, like many other possessions, is a tool with which to minister. When viewed properly, a home shouldn’t be a monument to me; it should be one more item in the tool box used for declaring God’s glory.
As we run the final stretch of the home purchasing marathon, my prayer is that our new residence would be used as a tool for all sorts of ministry to all kinds of people. I pray that it would derive its importance from what it is used to accomplish. More consequential than a hammer used in the construction of the White House, I pray that our house will have eternal significance as it is used skillfully in the noblest task of all – passing on that which is of first importance (1 Cor. 15:3).