I had driven by it many times. Just north of downtown Dallas was an eleven story building that had been strapped with over 300 pounds of explosives. It has to come down to make way for progress, which in this case is a 2.5 billion dollar development. But 300 pounds wasn’t enough. When the dust settled, the building was down – mostly. At the building’s core was an elevator shaft built to survive hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes … and apparently explosives too. It remained, but it remained tilted, leaning just like that tower in Pisa. A week or so later, they tried a wrecking ball. Still it remains. So until a bigger wrecking ball can come in and finish the job, Dallas has a new landmark whose images are circulating on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media.
People are petitioning for it to become a landmark. Choctaw Casino has come in and taken advantage of the situation.
I have two lessons from this … and like a preacher, one will comfort the afflicted, and the other will afflict the comforted. Let’s start with the positive first.
Life throws a lot at us, and not all of it is easy. We get hit with difficult relationships, disappointments, health issues, and rebellious parents and/or children. Maybe it’s financial shortfalls, moral stumbles, temptations tugging at us, or personal failures. They come like storms, shockwaves, and sometimes, explosives. But if our foundation is solid, if our base is grounded in the unwavering Word of God … we will weather the storms. We may survive with wounds, scars, heartaches, and hurts … but we survive. Like the leaning tower of Dallas, we are still standing. The Bible talks about building our house on the rock … we will outlast what ever is thrown at us. And that is an encouraging word to remind us to make our foundation on Him and His Word.
But my second look at this story tells me there is a danger as well. Sometimes God wants to do something new, something fresh in our individual life or our church life. Like a church that is being prepared for a move into fresh growth, new ministries, and have a greater impact for Kingdom work … and sometimes removing existing systems is needed to allow growth. But we’ve built in traditions, set up preferences to our way of doing things, and have created stiff necked church members. And when leadership begins working for the future of the church, casting a vision, and sharing a passion for reaching new families and individuals, for motivating for more missional living … old ways won’t go away easily. Like the leaning tower to Dallas, we just won’t give way. Individually, when we continue to hold on to our way instead of God’s way, we may survive, but then God has to do more discipline, more pruning, and maybe even bring in a wrecking ball to make sure His way will prevail … and His way will always prevail in the end.
So, I hope we all find ourself in the first lesson and not the second. Otherwise, you may temporarily get you’re way – but you better get ready for even stronger discipline from our Lord. A stronger wrecking ball just might be headed your way.
Extra … another Dallas landmark. Did you know that Dallas also has the tallest interchange in the world … the High Five. 140 feet from level one to the top, 43 bridges, 710 supports, and 60 miles of roadway. It even has part of the Cottonwood hiking trail integrated into it on the bottom level. Dallas peeps, do you know which of the several five layer interchanges it is?