The tower of Piza is a building that, during the 200 years that it took to build it, started leaning because the soil was too soft for the building. Now, the failing foundation is heralded as the best object to pretend to hold up in a photo.
What’s actually interesting about it, though, is that in 1173 when building began, it was the most crazy idea. It was planned to be 8 stories, which meant it was going to be one of the tallest bell towers at the time. That, combined with the ridiculously high number of arches that it was going to have, and that it was going to be built out of marble just blew people’s minds. To add to that, when they started building, and got about to the 3rd story and realized that something was off. Because the ground was so soft, it had sunk in enough places to thoroughly crack the foundation.
They stopped building to figure out how to help the foundation. Then there were wars and lots of different engineers that came and went and they realized how expensive it would be to fix it and so it ended up taking 226 years to finally finish, which was actually good because it allowed the ground to harden in places so that it stopped sinking in some. They finally get to the end and it’s leaning about 10 degrees.
Imagine being the initial guy who planned this (who actually started it is unknown – it’s attributed to a few people, but nobody actually knows). At first, it starts getting a lot of fame. So, it’s kind of a cool thing to do – kind of trendy. But then, they get to the third floor and it dawns on this guy – well of course it wouldn’t make sense to build a tall skinny building that is so extremely heavy (marble is suuuuuper heavy) on ground that is so soft. Ground that is so soft that the cathedral right next to it is already starting to sink and tilt.
I imagine this guy was pretty confident in that foundation and then in hindsight he probably realized how inadequate it was. And that’s hard because it comes down to small decisions after that – had he just chosen a different material, or had he just made it a little wider, or any number of things, maybe they wouldn’t be in the position they were in. But, because of his decision on the foundation, everything that came after it was a little wonky.
Now we look at this building and we laugh – its “fun,” but I think we would all agree that it’s not “good.”
Like, we wouldn’t want to live in this house. We wouldn’t suggest someone that we care about to live in a house like this. And has time has gone on and on, that foundation has gotten worse. And our faith is the same. Everyone starts at the same place: confident in the foundation they have, but as time goes on, that foundation doesn’t stand the test of time. Faith is about the standing tall the whole way, which means a good foundation is key.
So, the question I want to propose is about the foundations of your faith. As Christians, our faith is one that should be built to last, but so often we found ourselves in facing difficulties or doubt and find that our foundations fail us.