Over the last several months, road construction in the Western Suburbs of Chicago has reached (in my opinion) an all time high! In fact, just last week, it seemed that the last standing, untouched major road throughout my city became a cluttered mess of signs, equipment, workers, all of whom immediately became the focus of my traveling frustrations. Before all of the construction started, I used Farnsworth Ave. as a sanctuary of inner peace, because other than the usual traffic, there were no signs of (both literal and figurative) any pending construction projects.
And then…almost on cue, a gas main ruptured, and this harmless event, seemingly triggered a massive gathering of equipment, cones, signs, and the dreaded two lane to one lane merger…where everyone loses all sense of calm and self control, and it becomes a free for all to get from the quickly closing second lane, over into the one available lane of traffic flow.
So, after complaining and grumbling about this, I asked myself why was this road, like most of the other major roads in the Aurora/Naperville area under construction. The answer is found in the following three points below, which, surprisingly have great spiritual and life application!
- Repair. Let’s just face it. These roads are high traffic areas, and the reality is, they take a real beating! Never mind the fact that at least 4 months out of the year (my wife believes it’s more like 9) they are constantly being covered with snow and ice, and then being cleared almost daily of said snow and ice, by massive snow removal trucks, who are not concerned with proper driving etiquette, but whose only job is to remove anything and everything that stand in their way. So, after months of abuse, these roads, and the giant pot holes that are created by the nasty Chicagoland winters, have to be repaired. For you and I, if we are in any way active and out and about in our communities, no doubt we too often are faced with the struggle of daily wear and tear, maybe even abuse or neglect by others, and the reality is, every once in a while, we just need to be worked on, one could even say repaired. What does that look like to you? Making it a priority to weekly attend your place of worship? Attending a small group? Sharing a meal with an accountability partner? Whatever your preference might be, I challenge you to take time to willingly submit yourself to being repaired and worked on.
- Improve. There are times when I’ve said, what’s wrong with this road? I have no idea why they are even working on it! It’s been like this for the last 30 years, it looks like (on the surface) it’s in perfect condition! Key word here is surface, just in case you didn’t pick up on that subtle hint. Here’s the deal, while coming through once a year or so, and painting some new lines here and there is good, this in no way addresses the brokenness beneath the surface. The cumulative effect of multi-ton trucks driving on these roads day after day eventually has a significant impact on what lies beneath the visible surface. Cracks. Brokenness. The integrity of the concrete to continue to provide support and a smooth surface inevitably becomes compromised. Improvement must take place. The techniques and technology that were used 30 years ago to create these roads has improved significantly. One would be foolish to neglect the opportunity to improve based on the idea that what worked 30 years ago should still be satisfactory now. How long has it been since you’ve made a major adjustment and improvement in your life?
- Expand. And finally, the pain of growth is usually suffered the most during those frustrating moments of expansion. I guess I would even admit, that it’s much better driving up and down a four lane Farnsworth Ave., than a one lane dirt road. So, while I’m not necessarily excited about the process, I do realize that expanding a road from one to two lanes, or adding a turning lane in the middle is really in my best interest, because with expansion, I can more safely navigate my way through life! Obviously, we should all be committed to personal, spiritual growth. So yes, expansion must be a part of our lives. What books are you reading to help you expand? What conferences or seminars are you planning on attending that will help you grow? Been putting off taking that night class at the local community college to further your degree? What are you waiting for? Sign up. Register now! Get ‘er done!
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