Old Buildings

Every morning on my way to the office, I would pass by an old gray building. To me, this two-story abandoned building was perfect. It was full of potential and I would fantasize about owning and remodeling it. I thought about the offices I could renovate downstairs and maybe two apartments upstairs. The location was ideal, and the view was splendid. In my mind, I knew I’d never own this building. But in my heart, I just couldn’t help believing that maybe someday I would.

Then unexpectedly as I was driving to work two weeks ago, my beautiful building was torn down. I saw all the stones lying carelessly heaped into a pile as heavy equipment worked to hide the evidence that the building ever existed at all. My heart broke.

Sometimes, we build up ideals in our heads. We abandon our good sense that tells us this job isn’t right. This person isn’t right. This situation isn’t right. Why? Because our hearts want to believe in what could be. So, what do we do when our buildings get torn down? We grieve and that’s what we need to do. We need to be able to shed a tear or an angry word when things aren’t as we expected. The loss of hopes and dreams are every bit as painful and disappointing as losing things that really were.

What matters is what happens after we grieve. This is important, because sometimes we have a tendency to get stuck trying to pick up rubble and reconstruct buildings that were never intended for us. It’s never just a building in the moment that your heart is breaking. However, you may find that after time, you drive past an empty lot and forget the building was ever there at all. Time makes this possible, so take all the time you need. With enough time, you may even find that something new and exciting is constructed where the old building once stood decaying. Sometimes old buildings need to fall to make room for something better.

The Bible teaches us to guard our hearts. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23. NIV.) This means not to let our imaginations carry us away but to use good sense in what and who we choose to believe and trust. This means to look beyond promising exteriors and realize that maybe it really was just an old building after all.

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