For the past few years, my CD music collection has been put on hold, due to life circumstances and comments from loved ones that I did not need any more cd’s. I feel like Nicholas Cage’s character in The Rock, preferring the sound of vinyl instead of cd, even though most everyone has now moved from cd, to mp3/iTunes. Somehow, I still like having the cd in my hand. Anyway….I say that to say that I have a new, favorite artist. Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The man is an utter genius when it comes to playing the steel guitar and I am simply blown away by the sound. His latest album, We Walk This Road, has a great line, in the song Dry Bones. It was how “we need the mercy man to come here fast, someone to build our future, from the past”.
Ever since I heard those words, I haven not been able to shake the profoundness of that thought. We are all building our future. Goals, aspirations, dreams and desires; the lifestyle and legacy that we want to live and be known for living after we are gone…tomorrow is built by what we took from yesterday and made better today.
We all have experiences and circumstances and people in are lives who play various roles. Some important, others not so much; influential and inspiring; motivating us to be better or different or sometimes, “never like that”. Like the master homebuilder, who uses the finest granite, the best wood, the premium stonework, the latest appliances and most efficient lighting…how carefully do you select what moments you will use to build your tomorrow?
Your experience and more importantly, your perspective about them and how you relate and learn from them play significantly into how you will handle what is “next”. A crummy attitude about a situation from years ago…chances are you’ll have a hard time when someone brings up a topic even remotely close to that moment “way back when”. I just remembered the scene, from Harry Met Sally, when Harry talks about his ex-wife, who came to mind, because his date went to a particular school. When asked if his ex went to that school, he replies “no”, it was, (wherever), “but they were both Big Ten schools”. Anything can trigger a moment or memory or situation from your past; but the quality of those moments that you have chosen to build your future will now play a critical role in how you react to that time that you had long forgotten.
What’s interesting about how we move through this life, is the continual packing and unpacking. You travel the world with one suitcase. Every place you go, every person meet, you will find a treasure; a moment and time that you will want to take with you. Then you arrive at the next moment and take something to remember as well. Eventually the suitcase is full, but you still travel. And so must unpack and re-prioritize. What will I keep? What will I let go of? Who will go with me? Who is it time to respectfully part ways? Change is hard and moving is work. But physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, we are human; finite in every way and we can only retain and carry so much. So evaluation and re-evaluation become paramount.
In our faith, we must continually ask the questions: Am I who God created me to be? Am I doing what I was created to do? Am I in the place that I was destined to be in? Am I going in the direction I should be? Are the people in my life the ones who are playing the role they were meant to play? Because as life changes, so to will all the answers that may seem right now, one day change. The more “off-course” you go, the harder it will be to adjust and get back “on track”. You can do it. It is all about perspective and focus. There is an architect for your life. He has placed His trust in you to build it, because He is confident in your abilities to trust in His plan; His blueprint. It is not ours to question or change; but simply to build what He has designed and to use the very best, in order to build the very best, in a manner that honors “the best laid plan”. Unlike ours where the outcome is uncertain; His is very certain and so we must build the best future from the best of our past. The imperfections will play a role, they will add character; but it is only considered character when the rest of the work is beautiful. You are the main feature in your life. Will people walk through saying “Oh, WOW!!!!! Look what they did here?” or “Um….what in the world were they thinking?” Build with greatness and greatness will be the finished life.