The balloon is puffed up with hot air. It floats around and looks pretty for a while, but it is extremely fragile. The balloon will easily pop with even the slightest prodding from a needle.
Could you imagine trying to take down a skyscraper with a needle? The skyscraper is meticulously planned out by a team of architects. It has a strong foundation and is built using teamwork, steel, and sweat. The skyscraper takes a lot longer to create than the balloon, but it will certainly last much longer.
We live in a world of balloons. The parent who only focuses on discipline, never actually talking to his child is a balloon, puffed up because “he know what’s best.” The business leader who fires anyone who dares to challenge her authority is a balloon, puffed up by her business degree and superior position. The religious system that turns away “sinners” and “backsliders” is a balloon, puffed up on their own morality. One thing they have in common? They’re all afraid of needles.
In this life, needles come at us in the form of challenges, trials, and setbacks. These challenges constantly poke at us to see what we’re really made of, to see if we’re puffed up on our own knowledge, or if we’re building what we have on love. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and it can puff up some pretty impressive balloons. But without love, knowledge will never be anything more. If our identity is found in what we know, or what we’ve achieved, then we’ll never create anything of lasting significance.
The best parents, the strongest businesses, and the true followers of Christ build their life on love. They have no fear of needles, because their identity is found in something much stronger than any challenge this life may bring. Love builds skyscrapers, and skyscrapers have lasting significance.
What are you creating with your time, gifts, and influence? Are you puffing up balloons with what you know and what you’ve accomplished? Or are you creating with love, and building skyscrapers?