Renovations? Hurry Up and Wait

Change is inevitable. Renovation is necessary. We know it has to happen, but we put it off as long as we can. No matter if it’s our house, our church building, or our lives – we delay as long as we can, then we want it to happen “right now”. Extended process is not fun – but often it can’t be done any other way. We just have to wait for completion.

Our church sanctuary is currently under renovation. It’s a rather extensive process and when I say “under” renovation, I mean that literally. There are pieces of equipment, tools, supplies, plywood, etc. lining one side and the back of the room. The chairs which are being used at Sunday Celebration are arranged off to the other side and in the middle of the room. The re-structuring part of the renovation project will probably take a few more weeks, then comes painting, laying of carpet, and somewhere in the schedule the installation of the new audio equipment and the sound tech’s work table.

The job is taking a long time for completion because volunteer churchmen, most of whom have full-time day jobs, are doing the work for free – which is saving our fellowship a great deal of money, but not sparing the hassle of sanctuary clean-up prior to each Sunday service – and yes, the not-so-eye-pleasing temporary “décor”.

We believe that the project will result in a beautiful and functional new worship room. But we’d really like to hurry the process along. The problem is that certain things have to be done before other things can happen. It does no good to paint the walls and install carpet before the bigger jobs are completed and the equipment and supplies for those jobs are removed.

I was thinking today of how the renovation project in our church Celebration Center is similar to our personal renovation. We know there need to be changes in our lifestyle or character.  Mental and spiritual structures need to be torn down and replaced with firmer, more reliable structures; we need better “audio receptors” to be able to hear our Heavenly Father’s voice; our spirits need dusting off and regular vacuuming after the messes we make with our self-renovation projects; we need new insulation in our souls to keep out the cold winds of adversity and to hold  in the heat of the Holy Spirit.

And occasionally we need a new spiritual paint job to brighten up the space we occupy in this world – something that speaks of faith and love and joy and a trusting heart instead of depression, gloom, complaint, anger, irritability, jealousy, etc.

We know it needs to happen, and we want it to happen “right now” – all-at-once instead of a long, drawn-out process. But just as timing is important in the renovation of our church celebration room, the timing of our own spiritual, mental, emotional and even physical change can’t be rushed.

Just as we see the weekly results of our volunteer laborers in the worship room of our church, though most of us haven’t seen them doing the actual work, in the same way, God is steadily and patiently and invisibly working in us. We have this hope from Scripture: Philippians 1:5  “Faithful is He who has begun a good work in you, for He will bring it to completion in the day of Christ.”

“In time” our church renovations will be completed. And in “His time”, our personal renovation will be completed by our Father God.

Don’t quit in the middle of the project. Don’t settle for half-way-there. Don’t get discouraged in the process.

That’s where trusting God comes in: Romans 8 tells us that God will pull it all together one day – causing “all things to work together for our good” and this will result in our being “conformed to the image of His Son”. When He’s finished His work in our lives, we’ll look like Jesus. Steady and slow – progressive conformation.

Where are you in this spiritual renovation process? Are you any different this year than last? Any closer resemblance to the image of God’s Son?

©2011, Marcy Alves


About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on June 13, 2011, in Christian Growth, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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