The Watkin’s Tower.

watkin_tower_winning_designIt’s 150 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower, and it offers so much more.  Sure, the Eiffel Tower has restaurants, but the Watkin’s Tower has restaurants, theaters, dancing halls, two observation decks, and a 90-room hotel. For the science nerds, you’ll find an astronomical observatory at the top.

There’s only one drawback to the Watkin’s Tower. It was never finished.

Here’s the deal. Sir Edward Watkin was a big dog in Britain’s railways. A really big dog.  In an effort to get more people riding trains, he decided to open a fancy-schmancy park a few miles northwest of London. And what better what to attract people to a park than with a ginormous tower that makes the Eiffel Tower look like a five-year-old’s Lego project?

  • Setback #1. The public’s interest in this tower did not match Sir Edward’s ambition. He could not raise the funds needed, so he had to scale back—way back.
  • Construction stopped in 1899.
    Construction stopped in 1899.

    Setback #2. Work began in 1892 and quickly fell behind schedule. Three years later, the tower was only 154 feet tall, but they found the ground would not support the modified tower.

Work stopped seven years into the project. In 1907, the whole site was torn down because it was unsafe. (For you soccer/footballs fans, Wembley Stadium was later built on the site.)

Sir Edward is a living example of Jesus’ illustration:

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish'” (Luke 14:28-30).

Jesus was relating this to the cost of discipleship—and I’m going to relate it to the cost of some of your New Year’s resolutions. Some common New Year’s resolutions for believers:

  • I’m going to read the Bible through.
  • I’m going to read the Bible every day.
  • I’m going to be more patient, loving, gracious, or _____________.

We’re two months into this year. How are you doing with any resolution or goals you set? Most people give up after a few weeks—some after a few days—simply because they did not count the cost.

Sticking with spiritual goals that will draw you deeper into a relationship with Christ is hard—but it’s worth it. Yes, count the cost, but then pay that price, because keeping goals like prayer, Scripture reading, Scripture memorization, and ministry involvement will make a world of difference in your life.

So … if you’ve slacked off—or given up altogether—just begin again. Now. Don’t wait. You’re not building a tower; you’re building a life. And unlike Watkin’s Tower, you’re building on a solid foundation.

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

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