By Jenny Smith
You’ve likely noticed the construction around town as new restaurants and hotels rise up from the earth. My 3-year-old son shrieks at the cranes, diggers and excavators. He waves to the construction workers through a smudged window. His bedtime stories are coming to life all around him. He’s thrilled by moving dirt, pouring cement and watching a frame become a home or a place to play.
It makes me wonder how we deal with construction in our own lives. And I don’t mean that remodeling project you’re muttering swear words at and wishing you’d never started.
We’re talking about how we shift and change inside our own hearts. What do you do when presented with new stories, perspectives and ideas that differ from your own? Do you dig in your heels and defend your view to the death?
Maybe we’re invited to breathe a little deeper, let our ego quiet down a bit and allow some new construction to happen in our own mind and heart.
I have a confession to make to you today. Come closer so I can whisper this embarrassing truth. “I usually think my way is right.” Shocker, huh? I imagine I’m not alone. There are many moments when I roll out the construction plans for my life, and I assume I’m the designer and builder of all I get to do.
Whether it’s an argument with my spouse, a friend who sees the world differently than I do, my 6-year-old or a stranger on the internet, I’m out to convince the other person that they’re wrong and I’m right. That is not OK. We can do better. Let’s shine a light on this autopilot feature many of us have in our hearts. We do it without even thinking. What would happen if you spent a little time this week reflecting on where you can give the green light to new construction?
Is there a way of being that’s worn out and tired? Let it go. Make room for something new to emerge. Maybe it’s time for some old, rusted, dangerous buildings to crumble. You’re ready to let go of an identity or belief that feels suffocating more than freeing.
Easter is a few weeks away. This is a season where we look a little closer to see where we don’t feel truly alive. We do the work now to prepare for some new construction in our hearts and minds. We have a Creator who loves new construction projects. This Creator doesn’t give the green light for the trucks to start rolling until we open up and whisper, “Maybe this Easter, I’m ready for something new.” Then watch as the One who knows you better than you know yourself, rolls out some plans that you never could have imagined.
Jenny Smith is the pastor at Marysville United Methodist Church. Her faith column runs monthly.