This is an article that will appear in the upcoming issue of the Westbury Word, our church newsletter. But here it is--a month early--for any who want to read and/or comment:
I saw a sign on a strip of highway once that I would like to have copied on my gravestone. It said, "End of construction. Thank you for your patience."
—Ruth Bell Graham, poet, writer, and wife of evangelist Billy Graham (1920–2007), from her book, A Hearing Heart.
I have no idea whether or not Ruth has that etched on her tombstone, but I like the sentiment very much. Whether we acknowledge the fact at all, each one of us is under construction. The Holy Spirit of God is the architect and general contractor. But most of the work is supposed to be done by you and me. Some of us refuse to work at all, reasoning, “I’m good enough as is. Not perfect, but a whole lot better than most people I know.” But happy are those who commit their lives to joining God in this great renovation of the heart…and happy is everyone who knows them (happier still are those who get to live with them!).
Our church is getting ready to begin a great renovation of our worship space. This has been planned for years, supported by generous gifts, and masterminded by intelligent, committed church members (since I just got here, I don’t include myself in that group). No doubt about it, it’s an exciting time. But this building is just that: a building. Your life is eternal in Christ Jesus. I urge you to begin 2008 with a commitment to cooperate with God’s building project in your life. Here’s my practical suggestion: Take a morning, a day, or longer if necessary, to prayerfully meditate over the following three questions:
1. What character flaws would God most like me to overcome this year?
2. What aspects of Jesus’ character am I lacking the most?
3. What people does God want me to invest my life into in the coming year?
And then this final question: What am I going to do about it?