In chapter 11, we see mankind unite together to make a name for themselves. God, knowing our tendency and nature to move towards evil (Gen. 3:22-24), places limits around our potential.
I remember hearing this story for the first time in Sunday school and thinking it was weird and probably made up. Even as a third grader, I knew you couldn’t build a tower tall enough to reach heaven. (Also I’m lazy and wondered why they wanted to do that in the first place.) But as I’ve gotten older, I realize logic doesn’t always prevail over our desires.
Belongings won’t bring me happiness, yet still I spend. Food will never fill me up, yet still I eat. Human approval will never satisfy me, yet still I perform. We always come up with towers to stand on to reach our sinful desire of exalting ourselves.
What are your towers? What are you stacking up in your life? I pile possessions up in my home. Hoping they’ll distract me, maybe define me. I pile up compliments in my head, pin them to my subconscious bulletin board. Hoping they’ll distract me, maybe define me.
What do you unite over with your people? Complaining is a quick way to make friends in line at the post office, small talk with your neighbors, bond with coworkers over your boss and divide church community.
My sister shared this quote with me a while ago and I can’t get it out of my head:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, this is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
There have been protests in my city every night since the election. Some peaceful, some turning into destructive riots. This story about the Tower of Babel is a reminder of what we are capable of when we come together as people. We don’t always come together for good.
Mead’s quote makes me think about groups like foster families, activists, Habitat for Humanity and teachers. People intentionally coming together, uniting over the common good and working hard towards it as a team. I want to spend my time and energy on things that matter; I’m sure you do too.
Take note today of who you unite with and what you are working towards. Is it divisive? Or productive?