How long do you think it should take to build a fence? Three days? A week? How about a six foot high, wooden fence. 70 x 90 x 70. Two gates. How long? My brother, the builder, says his crew could do it in three days. Max.
Try seven weeks. Yep. That’s how long my friend Jim and I had been working on the fence for our children’s pastor Kenneth. In our defense, we had never built a fence, and the ground around his house was rock hard. Our borrowed auger had two problems. First of all it was 12 inches in diameter. That’s huge. And second, at some point this one had broken and they had welded it back together, crooked. It was a beast.
We started this fence project in the middle of 100 degree August heat. We worked in the evenings after everyone got off of work. Man that bent auger beat us black and blue. One of the guy helping us actually had to go to the hospital. He thought he was having a heart attack.
After three days we drilled 11 holes. We were so proud of those holes. We’d worked so hard. The next day when we got there, the neighbor was showing Kenneth something on the ground. “What’s up?” We had drilled all 11 holes on the neighbor’s property.
I never claimed to be a fence guy. I’m certainly not a surveyor. And I make no claim to being a hole digger. One of my deacons said, “You know preacher there are some fence builders out there who don’t try to preach. Very funny.
Well, after four weeks we had the holes all dug . And re-dug. After five weeks we had the posts concreted in. Now, time to put up the pickets. You know, its always something. We learned some valuable lessons. Got to keep the top straight, and be sure to check the plumb of the pickets at least every other one. If you don’t, you can get to the end of the fence and it looks like something out of a Looney Toons cartoon. So, the whole time we checked the line, and watched the plumb.
As I worked on that fence, I learned another life lesson. God wants our lives to be straight and true. And so we need to constantly check the line and watch the plumb.
Amos 7:7-9 “God showed me this vision: My Master was standing beside a wall. In his hand he held a plumb line. God said to me, ‘What do you see, Amos?’ I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then my Master said, ‘Look what I’ve done. I’ve hung a plumb line in the midst of my people.”