Summary: Overcoming the world view of winning at all costs and moving toward a biblical view of success.
Proclaiming His Majesty
If you could travel back in time to the days of Noah what an amazing sight you would see! Not the flood or the ark, but right after the flood waters had dried is the time I am thinking of.
If you were there you would find a tower buzzing with activity. You would probably even be impressed with how efficient the work was progressing, even though the building process was rudimentary by today’s standards. I envision the workers separating the work, one group making mortar, another bricks, still another transports the bricks to the site while yet another group takes responsibility for setting them in place.
Envision if you will a human anthill. Every worker has a job, every worker does his job and every worker did his job well.
Their dream was a tower. A tower taller than any other in the entire world, taller than anyone in the world had ever dreamed of building. This tower would not just touch the clouds; it would loom over the clouds and touch heaven. But, what purpose did this tower serve? Was this tower meant to glorify God? Was it meant to find God? How about to direct people’s attention toward God? Was it built as a vain attempt to "walk" to heaven? Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
The real purpose of building is what, in the end, caused its demise. There was nothing wrong with their building method. There was nothing wrong with their plan. Their motives, however, were altogether wrong! If you read the minutes from the "Tower Planning Committee Meeting" you can see the problem:
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves" (Genesis 11:4).
Why was the tower being built? Selfishness. Pure, 100% selfishness. The bricks were made from inflated egos and the mortar out of pride. All for what reason? So someone will notice me! To make a name for myself!
We have a name for that, its called blind ambition. Success at all cost. King of the mountain. Top of the heap. "I did it my way."
In our society, we make heroes out of people who are ambitious. We hold them up as models for our kids and put their pictures on magazine covers. And rightly so. This world would be in sad shape without people who dream of touching the heavens.
Ambition is that grit in the soul, which creates disenchantment with the ordinary and dares one to dream.
Left unchecked it becomes an insatiable addiction to power and prestige and things. It becomes a roaring hunger for achievement that devours people as a lion eats a meal, leaving behind only the remnants of relationships.
Some classic examples of nearsighted tower builders are:
The parent who feeds their career with twelve-hour workdays, meetings and apologies for being gone so much. "It’s only a matter of time before things will get better."
The woman who always wears her dresses a little high in the hem and a little low in the neck because "one day" she will not be able to.
The businessman who lies during his business deal and justifies it saying, "I’ll only need to do it this one time."
Anything to gain an edge. Anything to draw attention. Anything to get to the top of the tower.
Blind Ambition. Distorted Values.
It all results in rootless lives bouncing around like tumbleweeds through a ghost town. Abandoned dreams. Crumbling homes. Desolate futures. All with one thing in common: a half finished tower that stands as a stirring epitaph to those who dare follow.
God won’t tolerate it. He didn’t then and he won’t now. He took the "Climb to Heaven Campaign" into his hands. With one sweep he painted the tower gray with confusion and sent the workers babbling in all directions.
Are you building any towers? Examine your motives. Remember the memorial statement imprinted on the base of the abandoned Tower of Babel:
Blind ambition is a giant step away from God and one-step closer to catastrophe.
Mitchell Skelton, Minister
Midway church of Christ
(Material from Max Lucado)