Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest Post: Under Construction

“Under Construction” is probably one of the last signs we want to see on a road trip.  Generally that means there will be one lane of traffic and travel will slow to a crawl.  No matter how many miles ahead of the construction they tell us to merge right or left, there will be a long line of those who ignore the signs and want to be let in ahead of others, which slows down the traffic even more.

If you live in a city the size of Charlotte, there seems to always be construction going on somewhere.  For as long as I can remember, there have been talks, and plans about the building of the I-485 loop.  But construction of any project has to be done ‘decently and in order’ (a good Presbyterian phrase).

We are visiting my oldest grandson who is completely enamored with any vehicle that has a role in construction projects - ‘diggers’,  bulldozers, cranes, graders, backhoes, tractors, and cement trucks.  His new favorite toy is a cement mixer that his granddaddy got for him.  When he begins playing, the first toy truck to his ‘construction site’ is his cement truck.  His engineer granddaddy keeps trying to explain to him, that before you pour the concrete he needs to have his bulldozer and grader smooth over the area.

Construction does take time to be done correctly. For those of us in the slow traffic, we need to remember that there is the surveying stage, the clearing stage, grading, laying of asphalt and all the tasks in between.  If it is not done in the correct order and each step is completed before beginning another, it will fall apart even earlier than it is projected to need repairs.

Life is a construction project. We are building layer upon layer and if we rush the job, we miss those things we should have learned about along the way.  We all need to imagine each other wearing our own ‘under construction’ sign as a reminder to everyone, that we are not complete.  We are at one stage of the process or another, but we are not finished.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Thessalonica. Closing the letter he penned these simple words, “…we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all…” (1 Thess. 5:14) 

At the Billy Graham Library, you will find Ruth Graham’s gravesite.  Her epitaph was one she selected years before.  I think it is a perfect epitaph for her, and maybe all Christians.
Her grave stone is simple and rough, and none of her accomplishments are listed there, just the epitaph from a road sign she once saw. It simply reads “end of construction–thank you for your patience.”

When we are dealing with people, Christian or non-Christian, it will help us to remember that we are all ‘under construction’ and our patience will be appreciated. 

Renda Brinson is the Director of Christian Education. She lives in Matthews with her dog, Daisy. Renda has four grown sons, and is expecting her fourth grandchild any minute now! If you enjoy her writing, you should check out her blog at


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