From the meticulous placing of survey stakes,
the first tentative scrapings of heavy equipment digging the basement,
concise placing of massive concrete blocks,
and synchronized pouring and finishing of concrete,
to the placing of floor, walls, and rafters,
giant crane lifting roof beams,
and complicated placing of the maze of wires, pipes, and septic components, the building addition to our church has become a reality. Did we truly envision how this would be?
Throughout the entire process, each one has had to do their part.
First, the builders: individual workers - specialists in supervising, surveying, masonry, electrical systems, drainage, construction, roofing, finishing, ad infinitum - have needed to show up, prepared and able to do their job.
Then, the rest of us: also individuals with varying degrees of interest and ability to help in whatever way possible.
Some have the dedication, expertise, and time to devote many hours weekly to helping work on-site.
Others busily plan finishing work - painting, flooring, equipment, furnishings, sound system, and landscaping.
Some offer encouragement, prayers, warm cookies, and smiles.
It has not all been a "piece of cake" because there have been unkind words, frowns, worried looks, and tense moments... sometimes more than just moments. Not all has gone smoothly or exactly as planned. Malfunctioning or missing equipment, incorrect materials, misunderstood information, unforeseen complications, and just plain "goofball" situations have a way of cropping up and muddying the waters, so to speak.
Flexibility has been needed - and will continue to be - to deal with all the messiness of this building project.
I have no doubt that we will, ultimately, "get 'er done". I firmly believe that this group of people does whatever they set their mind to do; this building has been a looong time coming!
As summer passes on and the building proceeds towards completion, it is time for each person to ask themselves what more they can do.
In many ways, the completion of this building is really just a beginning. We each must seriously contemplate and plan for whatever we are able to contribute, whether that be money, committee work, physical labor, food, prayer, encouragement, and/or ideas and planning for future uses of all this new space.
Someday in the future, each of us, our children, grandchildren, or friends will look back and remember this building experience.
All of the planning, money, blood, sweat, tears, satisfaction, and joy will be remembered as a major milestone in the history of this small church.
We need to be sure we are each a part of it now.
In life, any building project is uncertain, messy, challenging - yet exhilarating. Still, to change and grow we must build upon what is today until it becomes tomorrow. Blindly, or with determination, we must step forth in faith...
And exactly when will this building process be complete? Probably never - and that is a good thing.
In him the whole building is joined together
and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
And in him you too are being built together
to become a dwelling
in which God lives by his Spirit.