What makes one type of house more appealing than another? I’m not sure there is a definitive answer to that question. But there are places a person just connects with because of the big wrap around porches, old cross beam fences and beautiful landscaping.
Louis Henry Sullivan was an American architect who is responsible for the creation of the “modern skyscraper.” I admit, there is something about being outside and looking high into the sky to see the very top of such a building. While I don’t consider myself afraid of heights, being inside, near the top of such a building is a bit intimidating. That said, I did go to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City at night, and it was beautiful looking out on the night lights. They twinkled in massive colors for as far as the eye could see.
Sullivan influenced the change in the way tall buildings were built. He recognized the hazard of building with only lumber since the weight of such buildings are sustained by “weight-bearing” walls. He along with other architects designed steel buildings, but it was Sullivan who dealt with the crisis that stemmed from using cheap and ineffective steel. This evolved into our more modern, “high-rise” buildings we know today.
Architecture can also be used to describe our lives. We plan and design what we want our lives to look like, even as a young child. I remember looking through those huge Sears and Roebuck catalogs that came semi-annually and picking out my furniture and kitchen appliances I wanted in my home someday; clothes, a swimming pool for the yard and a swing set for the children!
As we grow, we build the foundation of our lives. When we take wrong paths it’s like putting burdensome weight on the “support walls” of the building. The “walls” can only hold so much and if not repaired and strengthened, will give way and fall. But when we nurture our lives with all that is good, solidly undergirding each beam placed on our “wall of life,” then we can continue to grow. When the wind blows and storms howl, we can stand firm against the onslaught, even if we find ourselves swaying just a bit, which is so much better than collapsing and falling into a state of disrepair!
Parents are faced with a huge responsibility as they teach their young children about life and the ways of the world. Parents are the “walls” that support the children as they begin to add their own bricks and mortar in their lives that will either solidify and anchor them strongly into becoming the best they can be, or that crumble and break apart with each crisis that comes their way.
How would you describe the brick, mortar and other building materials in your life, and those in your children’s? Are you helping the children build strong, tall structures with a solid foundation or will sand beneath them wash away as their battered walls crumble around them?