Tom McInnes ’53: A Foundation Rooted in Love | Highlander Devotional

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV)

Foundation For Living

During the hot summer of 1950, I spent several months constructing the foundation of what is now the center section of Gillette (formerly East) Hall. With other student laborers, I dug ditches, gathered stones from the river, pushed wheelbarrows full of fresh cement up ramps to pour into the foundation forms, and tried to keep up with some summer school studies.

For Work and Study

Today when I read the Scripture passage of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3, I relive in memory those halcyon days of work and study—one building a foundation for a dorm, the other building a foundation for a college degree. Here Paul is saying that not only ought we to be rooted in Christ, and thus be partakers of His life (like branches on the Vine), but that He must be the foundation upon which the whole structure of our life is to be erected. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NIV).

Foundation for Life

At Houghton, I learned that there were other foundations upon which to build: friendships, social interests, ambitions, church relationships, etc. But these were just ancillary to that of the basic foundation of being fully grounded in Christ. Similarly, that foundation needed something built upon it. At Houghton, a dorm. In living, grace and love.

We all worked hard that summer! Laying the foundation and then building that girls’ dorm was tough, demanding labor. There was no let-up and the efforts kept pace. I often wonder how much sweat I am willing to expend in building a life on the foundation of the prophets and apostles with my Lord as the chief cornerstone.

Prayer: O God, forgive my times of shabby building, of feeble upkeep and lack of repairs to my soul home. Help me more and more to know the love that surpasses knowledge through Christ, my Lord.

This entry was originally published in Creekstones, a digital devotional written and compiled by Houghton College alumni in 2010. A retired Chaplain (Col.) in the U.S. Army, Rev. McInnes considered himself to be a missionary to the military serving in both war zones and peacetime. He passed away in 2017.

Highlander Devotionals are contributed by members of the broader Houghton community, including our worldwide alumni family. These reflections are a testament to the continued, transforming work of Jesus Christ in the lives of alumni and others who have called Houghton “home.”

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