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In the Ruins and Rubble

As I stared out my back window yesterday, I witnessed the tearing down of a once beautiful two story house situated behind us.  I watched as a case excavator smashed it to rubble.  The sight filled me with sadness and nostalgia even though it wasn’t my home, but it had been someone’s home, and the thought it was relegated to rubble in a matter of an hour, made me realize how fast something once built can be torn down.  Today I watched as each piece was lifted into trucks and driven away, leaving nothing but the foundation and some dirt. 

So why do I write about such a thing?  It occurred to me in these last few days that life is an awful lot like this situation.  We spend hours planning and priming ourselves to build a wonderful structure such as this house once was, and it becomes known as our life.  We live in it and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  We decorate our house, our lives, in whatever way makes us happy.  For some it is marriage and children.  For others it is a single life filled with hobbies, great job and friends.  Whatever decoration you supply brings a beauty to your world and makes the home comfortable.  We settle there, and life flows.  But every now and then, we notice a crack in the walls or a tear in the carpeting.  Perhaps after a while the home, our life, becomes dull, and to brighten it, we repaint the walls and make it fresh and new again. 

Then something happens we weren’t expecting…it happens to us all…the walls do more than crack.  They crumble.  They fall down.  We feel it before it happens, and the pain of watching helplessly from the sidelines as the building becomes nothing more than ruins or rubble resting only on our foundation is hard to watch. 

We stare helplessly and are overwhelmed, wondering how we’d ever be able to repair the pieces on the ground.  The clean up is long and hard, as we become the case excavator of our lives.  At times we might want to give in and let the ruins and rubble sit.  Sometimes it is what we need to do, let things be and sit in the ruins of what we had once built, in order to understand what is needed to continue.  We might find the ruins and rubble are not as ugly as we thought once we immerse ourselves there for awhile.  It becomes a new norm for a time.

Then something wonderful usually occurs.  We find it within us to rebuild.  Piece by piece we find strength to put our house, our lives, back together, and we watch as it grows and becomes something new.  It is amazing to watch from a distance, but even more so to stand in the middle and be a part of building a new life, a new home.  That is where I stand right now…in the ruins and rubble watching the beauty of the fallen rocks around me and planning…yes planning to rebuild eventually, once I have the image of where each piece needs to go.  For it isn’t the home that really mattered.  It isn’t the decorations or comfortableness that is truly the essence of our home, our lives.  It is the foundation of which we stand on that matters.  It is the foundation which is usually left standing when the house is torn down and becomes ruins and rubble.  For as long as our foundation was built strong, everything else can be rebuilt from there. 

I’m fortunate for my foundation is solid.  So as I stand on my foundation among the ruins and rubble of my life, I marvel at its beauty and wait anxiously to rebuild.

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