Faithlife Sermons

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I watched them tearing a building down –

A gang of men in a busy town –

With a yo-heave-ho and a lusty yell,

They swung a beam and the side wall fell.

I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled –

The kind you would hire if you wanted to build?”

He laughed and said:  “Why, no indeed,

Just common labour is all I need:

They can easily wreck in a day or two

What builders have taken years to do.”

I asked myself, as I went my way,

Which of these roles have I tried today?

Am I a builder, who works with care,

Measuring life by the rule and square,

Shaping my deeds by the well-made plan,

Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,

Content with the labour of tearing down? - Gilbert Keith Chesterton


Sourcebook of Poetry, Al Bryant, page 389

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