I was walking the kids to school this week and we passed by some workers who were demolishing a wall to install a new handicapped ramp for a pubic building. My son Ben asked why the men were breaking the wall. I answered, without even thinking,
Sometimes to build something new, you have to break something.
It’s funny how something so seemingly trite can be so true. As I walked away from the broken down sidewalk, it made me think about all of the things I’m working on now, and how much “stuff” has to be broken as we build new ministries and endeavors.
#1. Break Preconceived Notions
Why is it common for university graduates to come out with 5-figure, or even 6-figure, debt? Why is it that when people think of going away to university, they think about Frat parties, “experimentation” of the wrong sort, and useless degrees?
Why not break these preconceived notions: Why not figure out what you really want to do before wasting four years (or more) on a degree you don’t need or want? Why not change your young adult years into years of purpose, community, and learning about your calling and real life skills? (Stay tuned to this space for an initiative to do just that)
In today’s fast-paced culture, people are searching for something to separate them from the rest of the pack… whether it’s the latest social media outlet or the newest smart phone, people are ready to have their concept of “normal” shattered. Maybe your vision needs to be drastically different from the mainstream–that’s okay.
#2. Break Bad Habits
I am a classic introvert. Not in a bad way, but I “recharge my batteries” by having time to myself. I usually use this time to read, work on the computer, work outside, or go for a hike. But to be an effective leader and to be able to set vision for ministries and projects, I’ve had to break the habit of wanting to be alone. I’ve had to force myself to SPEAK and to SAY what is going on in my head.
To build new, we’ve got to break bad habits. Maybe you need to break the habit of starting something without finishing. Maybe you need to break the habit of laziness. Maybe we all need to break the habit of staying silent when something is going unsaid.
There, I said it. Your vision will not come to pass if it stays in your head. Speak it out. SHOUT IT OUT!
#3. Break Out Of The Box People Have Built for You
My wife and I are cognizant every day of what we are speaking over and calling our children. It’s hard to train our tongues, but our words have the power of life or death. We know our children are building their personalities, belief systems, and values now that will last them the rest of their lives.
Labels stink. Labels that we’ve been given, or names that people have called us in the past begin to define us, for better or worse. To build something new, or to start a new life for ourselves, we have to break out of these boxes that our parents or others have built for us.
We’ve got to break walls called “stupid,” or “weak,” or “worthless.” We’ve got to smash barriers of “dirty,” or “sinful,” or “abused.”
To build new foundations in our lives or in the lives of others, we’ve got to be free to be a fuller, more alive, person.
Break Some Eggs
It turns out that the old adage is true. To make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. To create a new endeavour, somethings are going to have to be broken. For better or worse, it’s necessary to make a break.
Is there anything that you’ve had to break first before beginning to build something?
Photo Credit: Sebastiano Pitruzzello-Flikr