Walking through Belfast today I thought I would take a picture of the demolition of one of the city’s older buildings. There’s a lot of regeneration happening around Belfast these days and it’s great to see our wee city really progressing and coming into its own. It’s definitely one of my most favourite places in the world.
As I was walking past this particular site of deconstruction, which is the old University Of Ulster Art Building, I was caught by how sad this grand old edifice looked as it is being ripped apart almost piece by piece. You see they can’t just bring the old girl down in a spectacular flourish with a crowd watching on to say goodbye without causing even greater damage to surrounding buildings, and so it’s a somewhat slow process of carefully pulling the old building down bit by bit, exposing all her hidden innards to the elements and public without much dignity. Sad really.
How many times have you and I felt like this grand old building?
It’s not easy having your life deconstructed for all to see. Whether it’s through illness, an unexpected tragedy, the break down of a relationship, the loss of a job or collapse of a business; suddenly it can feel like all the inner workings of your life are on show for everyone to see. It’s why we all want to crawl away and hide when things in our lives go off track.
I think it’s probably happened to most of at some stage or another, and I can say that with absolute confidence because we’re human…and this is what being a human being is. It’s life in a world where we try our best to blend in while at the same time wanting to be “seen” and accepted for who we really are. To be human is to live as something of a paradox sometimes. I want to be seen, but remain invisible. I want people to know who I am but only the bits I want them to, which is why I think times those times of life deconstruction are so difficult because I feel that I can’t fully control the information that people receive about me. It’s hard to remain in control of what people see of us when the side has been blown out of our life’s fragile facade, leaving us feeling exposed. Vulnerable. Broken.
Deconstruction is brutal. Unpleasant. Ugly. But it’s not permanent. Nothing in this life is.
The old building is coming down…yes…but a new one will take it’s place. And it will be bright and new and has the potential to bring even more wonderful things and people to our beautiful city. Progress is often painful and hard to see when you look at something like the old University of Ulster Building in mid-deconstruction: but somewhere there’s someone with a plan…a vision of what this site is going to be, and they’re excited about it. They can’t wait for all of us to see the new building they have designed. They’re probably lying awake in bed at nights itching for the new structure to rise from the rubble of the old. And they’re the one who is working like mad behind the scenes to coordinate all the resources needed to make the it all happen. No one can see it now because it’s all about the rubble. But soon it will all be about the rebuilding…about regrowth.
You see, even though a new building will spring up on the site of the old one in Belfast, one day…it will itself be old and probably pulled down to make way for something else. It’s the way of things in this world. The never ending cycle of demise and growth. Just look at the seasons for example. Life is all about constant change…death and renewal.
But these are not things to fear, because I believe there’s always a greater plan. I believe there is a someone with a greater plan for all of us.
I believe that right now, in this very moment while perhaps your life feels like it’s rapidly turning to rubble, that there’s a someone who’s excited about the plans they have for you…for all of us.
Plans to help us grow. Plans to give us hope. Plans that extend from the rubble of this broken world into the glory of the next. Wow! Now that’s the kind of building programme that I want to be a part of!
It’s why Jesus came.
Jesus came to deliver those plans.
Jesus came to pay for the cost of implementing those plans.
And Jesus came to oversee the entire reconstruction project.
Do you feel like your life in a state of deconstruction and rubble right now? Be patient. Trust that the great architect has a plan for your reconstruction. Just because you can’t see the plans, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Rebuilding takes time…but it will happen if we trust God because He is always the master of rebuilding, renewal and regeneration.
God is on your side and no one loves or cares about you more.
I personally believe that it’s only in God’s plans that we can find our true, eternal and everlasting selves and that the rubble isn’t permanent. Nothing in this physical world is. When we accept this simple fact…then our true rebuilding can begin.
“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory that He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.”
Romans 8:18-19 NLT
“And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”