Three months ago the first brick fell. Three days later the entire building was nothing more than a pile of rubble. The seemingly impenetrable shell of brick and mortar was reinforced by inner skeleton of steel; it stood secure through many storms over nearly 30 years, but it was no match for a few men with machines.
As soon as the ground was clear, a new work began. The future for this chunk of dirt promises to bring bigger and better things, but the progress is hardly visible.
It took 3 days to destroy the old, but now – more than 3 months later – the signs of new life are remarkably unimpressive. A few beams protrude from the surface, but that’s it.
You can’t see the much of the work that’s been happening over recent months, but it doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been important developments. Although it doesn’t look like much, the work that’s been done up until this point is the most important work that will be done on the entire project.
Digging deep. Spreading footing. Securing holds. Stabilizing foundations. That’s important stuff.
In another year this lot of dirt will hold six-levels of concrete, glass, and steel. The grand opening ceremony will celebrate this building’s state-of-the-art technology and styled furnishings; every detail – inside and out – will be meticulously manicured. The three months that was spent digging in dirt to hold this all together will be forgotten.
Our lives are a lot like this building.
We want progress. We want results. We want the latest and greatest. We want to be attractive. We want to be appreciated. We want our grand opening ceremony, our ribbon cutting, our celebration of how great we are.
What we don’t want to do is go beneath the surface of our lives. We don’t want to do the painful work of excavating what needs to be removed. We don’t want to dig in the mess until it hurts. We don’t want to be patient and lay a solid foundation.
But all of this must be done before anything great can be built. If you skip the pain, you’re not building anything other than a facade that’s soon to fall.