10.27.2007

Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday and Today and Forever

Our firm recently completed a study on transit-oriented development, in which one of our main points was the necessity of transit certainty for meaningful development to take place near transit stops.  In other words, being near a transit stop, whether to live, work, or play, is only as valuable as you are certain that the line(s) served by that stop will continue to operate into the future.  And so developers, whose job is to make money by providing value to those who will use that which they develop, despise uncertainty; minimize or eliminate that uncertainty and you will create a much more conducive environment for developers to build in.

I am reminded of this concept this morning as I get the the 13th chapter of the book of Hebrews, and particularly to verses 5 through 8:

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you," so that we confidently say, "the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What will man do to me?"  Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

In life, as in real estate, risk is bad.  This passage seems to suggest that we can live lives of faith precisely because there is no risk involved in Jesus being Jesus.  You may know that this book was written to Christians during a time of great persecution.  To be a Christian during this period was to incur a great deal of risk.  And yet the author's message in that light is that we ought to respond to that risk by anchoring ourselves on the certainty of Jesus being Jesus.

When there is uncertainty associated with the future survival of a transit line, as has often been the case here in Philadelphia, developers are reluctant or outright resistant to building anything that is intended to capitalize on the accessibility associated with that transit line; they choose instead to diversify their projects, mixing in other sites or avoiding transit-proximate locations altogether.  And in life, when we doubt that Jesus will be Jesus, we can tend not to build our lives around His truths and His purposes, opting instead to diversify our commitments and allegiances to other "gods" that we can turn to if the one true God lets us down.

But the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's recent long-term funding commitment to SEPTA signals an era when much uncertainty regarding transit service has been eliminated and thus when developers can have confidence that projects near transit stops will enjoy the value that access provides.  And this morning, I am reminded that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever, so I can confidently build my life around Him.  It may seem a risky move, but it is the surest thing around.
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