We’ve been talking a lot about change over the last couple of months. For those with a more conservative nature, change is painful. Personal change, I mean. It is hard to adjust the habits of life to reflect the holiness of God. Especially when the corrections make us uncomfortable. But this week we began our renovations in the Ed building. And this was a painful week. Well, it was demo week.

On Thursday demolition began. The ceilings and most of the walls are down to the studs. That takes a lot of work. It is noisy. It is dusty. The structure of the internal building has been revealed, something that hasn’t happened since about 1967. There were a few surprises. Strange telephone wiring. Leaky water pipes. A steel beam a bit lower than the beams. It was a bit nerve-racking because I wasn’t sure what they would uncover next. And how much it would cost to make it right. For the most part, it was not too painful, and most of our issues are able to be resolved quickly. Well, I suppose with some extra money too.

Until you peel off the dry wall, the true structure of the building is hidden. Our bones are good, however. And interesting. I’ve seen too many improvement shows on TV not to know that it is the demo which can reveal something painfully expensive to repair. We still have the bridge to demo, but we’ll rebuild it as is, so that can’t be too bad. Right?

If we are going to bring lasting change to our lives, demo is required. You can’t change for the long term without a careful examination of the guts of our lives. So, we find ourselves often in demo mode. Isn’t that called repentance? The change we need requires a full examination of the superstructure of our lives. Have we been genuine in our walk with God? Have we developed a passionate trust in the goodness of God? Do we really believe in the sovereignty of God? We don’t know until we strip away the façade of our lives and have the Spirit or trouble take a look at what we’ve built.

That is a painful, but necessary process. But just as we can’t rebuild our Education building until we strip the old away, so we cannot bring lasting change to our lives without stripping away the old habits and patterns. We must examine the true structure we’ve built underneath. Are you willing to be real with a friend? Or with your home group? Will you let The Inspector look at your life?

As we watch the work unfold next door, think about the pain and the dust created this week. In a couple of months, we will gather to celebrate the new renovations. It would be amazing to celebrate something much more significant, our personal change. May we confront the habits and patterns which have led us to stale Christian lives. It’s time to renovate us, not just the building. Today we worship a God who makes us all “new.” It’ll make life a mess, but can we afford to stay the same?