My Tower of Babel

Rolling up my sleeves, I set out to build my Tower. I didn’t need the actual blueprints; they were embedded in my overly zealous DNA. Worldly desires prodded me and I had an insatiable covetous monster needing to be fed. 

I wanted a car, a house, and classy furniture. I didn’t care so much about clothes, I just wanted to be able to open my purse and say, “yes” to whatever I wanted. All I lacked was money.

Everyone needs money. The key is finding a way to get someone else’s money into your pocket—legally, of course.  Building a career took more time than I hoped. I lost precious years and noticed other towers were taller than mine. Showy sedans and sleek, shiny sports cars were next to those towers. And the owners wore amazing clothes as they climbed into those luxury autos. Maybe I’d been hasty about not wanting nice clothes.
As money came in, I got right to work building steep walls straight to the sky. No limits, no need to slow down. I might be late to the party, but I was determined to make a dynamic entrance.

I never knew how amazing the view was going to be from my Tower’s height. The people far below were insignificant specks. I kept stacking layers. I hadn’t noticed that there wasn’t room for many others on my Tower. No worries, I didn’t have time for them anyway. 

I scanned the neighboring towers. I held my binoculars and stared into their spectacular mansions perched precariously on top. Then I saw something I hadn’t expected—behind the designer labels, I recognized the same look of despair that I’d seen in my own mirror. 

I stretched my arms wide and took in all that I could see and then leapt from the top of my Tower. People may have wondered why I jumped.  I’m not entirely certain. The fall to the bottom didn’t kill me; it merely humbled me. All of the years spent building with so little to show for it. Now I was much older. Certainly more tired. I wouldn’t be building a tower again.

Just as in the days of Nimrod, my Tower was built for the wrong reasons. I believed that the higher I got the happier I’d be. Through God’s gifts we can build amazing things—but I had chosen my own purpose, not His. When God blessed America, He trusted us to offer others what He'd offered us—freedom. It's up to me to do my part to help.
Labor Day reminds me of the generations of labor that built America. They left me the tools to build and the freedom to do it. Those who follow me deserve the same. My Tower  had a nice view, but God needed me on the ground to help build a better place. That meant learning to serve God and not just myself.

America is as much who we are as where we live. As we honor our nation's labor, let our work have real meaning—it's not about the stuff we can buy, but a legacy of love for one another and for our nation.

“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea, let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free, let us all be grateful for a land so fair, as we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.”  From Irving Berlin’s God Bless America

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