All Hands on Deck!

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

by: Roger Wood

As we study through the book of Nehemiah and the fascinating details of rebuilding the gates and the walls of Jerusalem, we have learned that this monumental task was completed in just fifty-two days. How was this possible under such adverse conditions?

Let me take you back in time. Central had a one-day conference in the mid 1980s. This particular Saturday was set aside to help the congregation understand how we could come together as a group of believers and manage our time, our talents, and our spiritual gifts to the fullest and accomplish the goals that had been set before us.

The guest speaker opened the conference with a question: how long do you think it would take to build an average sized, one-storey, 3 bedroom home? From the pouring of the slab foundation to walking down the manicured walk, opening the front door and moving in. 

The answers, of course, varied, but the consensus seemed to be that it would take at least a month, probably two at the very best. After all, the poured concrete had to cure and harden before any other construction could begin. After some discussion and considering many of the aspects of building a home, our group seemed satisfied with our answer. 

The speaker was encouraged by our discussion and even considered our conclusion as reasonable. He then gave us the answer: 4.5 hours! What? Impossible! That’s crazy. It can’t be done we cried out. 

He then proceeded to show us a video of how it was accomplished. Hundreds of people had been assigned to the project. Concrete masons, framers, plumbers, electricians, drywallers, carpenters, painters, roofers, landscapers and so on. Each had been given a specific task  according to their abilities at a specific place and a specific time. But what about the concrete? We learned that accelerants were added to the cement to greatly speed up the curing process. 

Through time-lapsed video we were able to observe how a group of focused, committed individuals, working together with a well-thought-out plan were able to accomplish a great deal in a short period of time. 

Nehemiah stood before the people of Jerusalem and said: “I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ So they strengthened their hands for the good work.”

The challenge: All hands on deck Central!

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