Thursday, June 21, 2007

All in a day...

A great deal of progress was made on the demolition project at Mount Vernon Place yesterday. When I arrived in the morning, one of the workers said, "Watch! It will all be down in an hour or so." I watched, and I watched and I watched. The process of tearing down the last portion of the building was fascinating. And while it took longer than an hour to get the rest of the building down, there is now a large pile of rubble where two buildings once stood. The rubble will be sorted the rest of this week with all of the materials being recycled.

The process of demolishing two buildings has taken a month or so to complete. The hardest part was separating the buildings to be demolished from the historic church on one side and a historic hotel on the other side. However, once the buildings were detached from the historic buildings, the project continued on a fast pace. And several times I have thought to myself, "Why can't the new building go up as quickly as the old buildings came down?"

There are several things in our lives that come down easily. It does not take much for a relationship to be destroyed. One unkind word can split a friendship in two. One case of bad judgement can ruin one's professional career. One decision can end a relationship. All in a day, a good thing can come to an end.

My former work supervisor cautioned me often on my tendency to externally process things. Greg pointed out how I tend to share my thoughts out loud instead of keeping them to myself. Several thoughts should have never escaped my lips. They should have been kept in my mind, instead. Greg told me time and again to be careful what I said. I wonder how many things I tore down with words that should have never been said out loud.

We also make bad judgments when it comes to actions we take towards others or things we purchase or decisions we make. We have all torn down things - our bank account, the trust of others, our image, our marriages, our self esteem - because of things we did that we should not have done. It does not take long to tear something down. How many times have you written an email that should have never been sent?

I laughed when I was in the construction trailer yesterday and noticed a drawing on the board. It is a drawing that shows the demolition and excavation work to be completed. It shows what needs to be removed between the church and the hotel in order for something new to emerge. We are not as careful about tearing things down in our own lives. We do them, and then see the big hole left as a result.

It is going to take two years for a building to be built on top of the place where the rubble now stands. It will take two years to create something new. We do not always have the option to start all over in this life. There are people who will never forgive us for what we have done to them when we tore something apart - trust, relationship, stability, reliability.

Yet, there is one who always provides a clean slate. There is one for whom nothing we do can keep him from loving us and yearning for us to come home. I am thankful that no matter how much demolition I have done in my life, Jesus still longs to be in relationship with me, to build me up, and to accept me just as I am. Like a little pile of clay, the master potter is never done with his creation.

Thanks be to God!

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