The Marsalis Avenue church building has been under renovation for the last few months. We were anticipating that the auditorium would be completed in time for our 90th Anniversary Homecoming. However, as is often the case with construction projects, things are taking longer than anticipated. We will still have homecoming services in our auditorium, it just won’t be a finished auditorium.
While we could have rented a facility to hold worship services for homecoming, I believe that worshipping in a space that is still under construction is reflective of our journey as a congregation. It is also indicative of our march towards spiritual maturity. We are not where we used to be, nor are we where we want to be. We are on a journey towards completion.
Construction projects are an object lesson for life itself. In construction and in life, we have to live through the inconveniences of advancement. There is demolition work. What is has to be broken up to make room for what will be. Sometimes it is a stronghold in our lives that must be torn down. At times we must get rid of the good so that we can do the great. The demolition is messy and can be emotional, but it is necessary for growth.
There are new discoveries. During the building renovation project, we have learned some things about our building. Some of these discoveries have added to the challenges of renovation. Some of them provided reassurance. As we discover what lies beneath the surface of our hearts, we may find that we are more resilient than we initially thought. We may also find some areas where more work needs to be done. Although these self-discoveries may catch us by surprise, they do not surprise God. Psalm 139 teaches us that God knows us wholly and intimately. He has searched us, scrutinized our path, and is aware of all that we are and all that we do. These new discoveries are all a part of God’s design to lead us in the everlasting way (verse 24).
Often, the construction process will take longer than anticipated. In those moments we learn patience. We learn that there is very little that we can control. We learn that the one thing we can control is perhaps the most difficult thing of all to control: self. We often attempt to coerce, bribe, prod, persuade, and even force people to do what we want them to do. But the evidence of the Spirit of God in our lives is not control of circumstances, environment or other people. Self-control is evidence that the Holy Spirit is ruling our hearts (Galatians 5:22-23).
What are some life lessons that you have learned from construction? We would love to hear you.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.