Have you ever watched a building being torn down? Until recently, I never had the opportunity. Up to that point I had pictured a very specific scene: dynamite strategically placed throughout the building with a single lever that brings it down neatly while onlookers celebrate with champagne and streamers. As I type this, I am realizing that the image may be a scene from CSI, except that it was a casino being torn down.
It turns out that what really occurs is equally interesting but not nearly as fast. Last week I found myself standing outside my school’s library, unable to take my eyes of the machinery as it chipped away at what was once a group of sprawling red brick buildings. Nearby a student played “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on her guitar, and another student attempted to recruit participants in the library’s open house. Two sheriff deputies parked their patrol car in the shade of a tree on the quad and began to set up a table to be filled with their hiring information. Yet none of it held my attention. All I could watch was the building being deconstructed, knowing it would soon be gone and eventually a new building would hide any traces that it had ever existed.
I have some old buildings in my life that need to be torn down. Some are big, some appear beautiful because they are familiar, and some are right in the middle of the action of daily life. They are buildings that I constructed at different times of my life, and some are buildings that were passed down to me. Some were constructed over years, and some appeared as quickly as the one that landed on the Wicked Witch of the East.
They are buildings of my own construction, and they are meaningless. Psalm 127:1 says that ”Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” God is purposefully tearing me down - sometimes brick by brick and sometimes by implosion - just like the buildings on campus. I can’t wait to see what the new ones look like.