My daily commute takes me past the local Golden Arches and I have enjoyed watching the visible progression of their remodeling project. The red tin roof and faded yellow sign have been removed and a new modern shape is being erected. The mound of discarded items keeps growing in the dumpster while the stack of building materials that was delivered to the site at the onset of the project is shrinking. Some days there is a whirlwind of activity and other times the rain has brought things to a screeching halt, but progress is being made.
And to the delight of travelers and locals alike, a large sign outside the building reads “Open During Construction”. Granted, the parking lot is somewhat tight, there’s extra noise during lunch hour, it might be a bit of a mess, and everyone has to be a little flexible, but nobody has had to forgo their Big Mac or Egg McMuffin or Happy Meal. In the midst of the renovation the employees have tried to continue with business as usual.
There’s something exciting about renovations. Years of wear and tear are replaced with fresh and new. Faded becomes vibrant. Outdated becomes advanced. Boring becomes bright. Lifeless becomes lively. Transformation is captivating
Each of us is a bit like a renovation project. As a baby, we seem absolutely perfect – a new construction. But over time our spirit becomes dull, our lives are contaminated by sin, we are faded by the consequences of our decisions, and we are in desperate need of an overhaul. Thankfully, God is in the business of renovations. He delights in making all things new. He restores our soul. Scriptures tell us that God makes all things beautiful in his time (Eccl 3:11) and that if we are in Christ, the old has gone and the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is the most exciting transformation to witness.
And Like McDonald’s, we are “Open During Construction”. Sometimes people watch and observe as old things are stripped away, we have messes to clean up and adjustments to make, and periodically things seem to be at a standstill. But be assured that God is at work. As Paul writes in Philippians 1:6 “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
So what does completion look like? For McDonald’s, I’m not really sure. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But for those who are in Christ, when we reach completion, we will be a perfect reflection of Jesus. And while that won’t happen on this side of eternity, we continue to be open during construction, learning and growing and transforming as we go along.
Another renovation that I’m excited about is the scheduled repair of Highway 75 north of Main Street. The local newspaper reported that beginning in July, crews will do emergency repairs and mill off the worst spots to level the surface and make long asphalt patches on the driving lanes. I am delighted that we will have a smoother driving lane; however, it’s a temporary fix to a deeper issue.
People have a tendency to do the same thing in their lives. We make some upgrades to the behaviors that are visible to the public eye, but we don’t deal with the underlying problems. We focus on symptoms instead of solutions. We avoid the hard work of transformation.
As we embrace the summer construction season, may we be convicted of the changes and shifts and complete renovations that need to be made in our own lives, both on the surface and deep within. And may we not shy away from engaging the process.
Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet,