I know all about Construction Zones. As the wife of a road builder, I have been to and through all sorts of highway and bridge Construction Zones over the years.
I know the difference between concrete and cement, and I can tell whether a road has been paved in concrete or bituminous asphalt.
I’ve seen road surfaces being milled and bridge decks being poured.
I recognize a core sample when I see one and I know that when testing with a nuclear density machine, you’re supposed to wear a radiation-detection badge (I know, because a few of those have ended up in the laundry by mistake).
I’ve seen roads and bridges in various stages of a contract, and when it comes to Construction Zones, well… you might say I know just enough to be dangerous.
In Bible study today we agreed that our group gatherings look pretty much like a Construction Zone. In various stages of construction, each one of us is a distinctly unfinished project (some of us might even say we’re a real piece of work).
Some of us are entering uncharted territory. The road God is building in us doesn’t even exist yet! We might be able to see the bright paint sprays of the utility companies who have marked what’s hidden underground, but where we’re going, there have been no roads before.
Some of us are freshly graded earth, ready for the Paver to make us into a usable roadway.
Some of us are being resurfaced – getting a face-lift, you might say – because the years have left their mark, but there is so much more life left for us to live.
Some of us are all rebar and concrete forms – not looking so much like a road just yet, but being equipped with a solid foundation so that when the deck is poured, we’ll be able to handle any load God might bring our way.
Some of us are being signed and striped. We’re looking pretty darn good, but there are directions we still need and pavement markings that we require in order to continue safely down the road God has put us on.
The thing about Construction Zones is that, with very few exceptions, no one likes them.
It’s messy. It’s bumpy. And it’s really, really slow.
I suppose those doing the work itself would disagree, but for those who just want to pass on through, Construction Zones stink.
This is not unlike what happens in our Bible study group, or in any group of those whose lives are perpetually under construction. With very few exceptions, watching the construction of others is like driving through the Zone…
It’s messy. It’s bumpy. And it’s really, really slow!
Sometimes we get impatient and take a detour, to avoid the construction (and those being constructed) altogether.
Sometimes we wait for what seems like forever in order to move past the Zone that others are in, because when one life gets messy in a community of believers, everyone feels it.
Sometimes the Construction Zones of others keep us from doing things we want to do, on a timeline of our own choosing. This can frustrate, anger and disappoint us, no matter how understanding we try to be.
Today, try to think about those whose work is the Construction Zone… What they do while we’re feeling inconvenienced is to create something new.
Something better. Something more efficient. Something safe.
God Himself is in the Construction Zones of our lives, making something better. Something more beautiful. Something He can use. Something others need.
Yes, the Zone irritates those who navigate it during construction, but for those who are hands-on in the mess, the progress being made is measurable and significant.
We are becoming more and more like Jesus with every pass of the Paver, with every passing day.
No matter how you feel about what God is constructing in and around you, rest assured – the finished product will be well worth the wait.