We are all builders. We are all building, have been, and will continue to build. The project? Us. The scary thing is, we don’t know it.
At the turn of every year, we dream of the lives we wish to build in that year. Resolutions, new habits, memberships, and proclamations are made, and hope floods the halls of our minds, only to soon be unintentionally polluted by the complacency that creeps in like a slow odor that one can quickly become “nose blind” of. What is up with the human condition that allows us to loose grip of the excitement of new conviction that we once held so tightly to? Hope is a beautiful and devastating thing: beautiful in the wonderment of possibility… devastating with the possibility of disappointment or failure…two sides to the same beautiful coin. This invisible anticipation holds so much power over us and our direction.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a change in the calendar or season as a metaphorical “line in the sand” for a new mark of a race in life, but the fact is, we have been, and will continue to build, each day. In fact, we all already have a house, if you’re old enough to read this, it has several rooms already.
This home that is “us” is inhabited while constantly under construction. Day by day, brick by brick, it has been built of the sweetest and worst memories, our dearest likes and interests, and our disgusts…our quirks and tendencies…our choices in relationships, hobbies and activities…and what we allow to inhabit the rooms of our thoughts, worries, and concerns. How is this scary, you ask? Every day we build, whether we intend to or not. Every day we have been building, whether we intended to or not. The beautiful thing? Every day we will continue to build, and can even do some demo and remodeling.
What is your house like now?
Time is the most opportunistic friend, and our most ruthless enemy. It is a gift that offers endless opportunities of hope, and at the same time has already been, and has the potential to be, an unmerciful thief. Time is the most valuable and powerful resource in the world. It has the power to evolve rigid rock into the smoothest stone combined with running water, basic coal into valuable diamonds when combined with pressure, and one couple in love into generations of families.
Despite popular belief, I believe this: you have time. You have time to construct what is healthy to the home that is “you,” and destruct what has been cheaply built in your mind and heart. Did you know the average person in the United States lives 27,375 days? And thats if you live to be only 75! A habit (good or bad) only takes 21 of those days to establish. Can you imagine what good things you could do with being intentional with 21 days…over and over? How encouraging!
What we have to realize, is that we are already building habits everyday. Good or bad. Productive or destructive. We are building our house. Sadly, when building, good intentions do not translate to blueprints that are carried out. That’s up to us.
Is this thought meant to shame us for years already passed and rooms that have already been erected? Absolutely not. If anything, I feel encouraged. I imagine all the books I can read, walks I can take, and wisdom I can acquire in the days to come (yes, I could go extreme with this…enneagram 3 here, oof!).
Recently, February 1st of this year to be exact, I started running. This may not sound huge to you, but you’re reading the writings of the wanna-be-cheerleader, theatre geek, choir-singing black sheep of her athletically elite family, here. I’ve never been “sporty,” in fact, I’m your typical quirky girl who trips going up the stairs. I actually cringe at myself for this. But, I wanted to prove something to myself: that I could be athletic despite the labels I had been given my entire life, even the ones I had placed on myself. So, I started running. Everyday. And…I hated it, but equally as much as I hated it is the amount of stubborn I am. At first, there was a lot, the majority in fact, of walking, but I committed to running as far as I could each day, in hopes to reach my goal of running a mile without stopping. April 22nd is here, and I can tell you that ya girl can run a mile and a half without stopping, and is training for a 5K. This is not the Sarah I once new, but I’ve built on to my house. I’ve remodeled some rooms in my mind and changed my thinking, and the labels I put on myself (and let others put on me). This home project has taken less than two months…TWO MONTHS and I have new labels for myself, new muscles working, and a changing physique.
I imagine what can be done with more time with God, in reflection, with quality relationships, and so many more things that will change the blueprint and style of the home I’ve built, and change the direction of the project of the home I’m building. Will I always get this right? No. But do I love the hope of having the choice and awareness in what I’m building? Absolutely. And you do, too! This is not a mutually exclusive gift of grace…its for everyone.