Speaking of changes...

The building next to the one where I work will be demolished this weekend. If you live in Los Angeles, watch the news on Sunday, it will probably be on. Actually, the building has been in the process of being demolished for quite a while. It's been an interesting process to watch.

The building awaiting the executioner is actually my company’s old building. Turns out it had asbestos in it, so we got a new building. (Fortunately, I never worked in that building, but in one of the other smaller buildings.) This building has been vacant for quite a while (years). Obviously it needed major work to remove the asbestos and remodel it for new tenants. It appears nobody wanted to do that. Now the plan is the building comes down and they will build some high-end condos on the site.

To take down the old building, they had to remove all the asbestos. So they covered the whole building in plastic. Now this is an eleven story office building, so that effort was something else. Then the workers began. I expected them to remove the asbestos from inside the building and when the plastic came off, the building would look basically unchanged from the outside. Wrong! When the plastic came off, EVERYTHING was gone. Only the cement pillars and steel beams that make the floors were left. The carpet, the drywall, the plumbing, the wires, the tile, the outer walls and everything else was gone. It was amazing. Recently the workers have been weakening the building and getting ready to blow up the remaining structure. It is fascinating to watch what they are doing. And sometimes the noise of the deconstruction has made it difficult to work.

The old building is not too far away from our new building. Actually, it’s one alley away from us. I am sure the crew knows what they are doing and they will be able to collapse this building and leave ours intact. But everyone at the offices wonders if we will have offices on Monday when we get back to work. I’m not sure if it would be good news to have no office or bad news. No work would be cool, no pay would not be so cool.

All this work to get rid of some old junk that no one wanted. Why? To make room for something newer, better, more desirable. I guess that’s progress. Certainly our old building was no landmark, or even that particularly good looking. So I doubt too many people will miss it. But there’s risk in getting rid of the old building. There’s risk in handling the asbestos. There’s risk that the building won’t fall correctly and it will damage other buildings. I’m sure it’s expensive. I know the new building will cost a lot of money to build and then there’s risk people might not buy the condos. (There’s a different condo complex going in on the other side of our building too.)

Change and Risk. Our lives are often full of both. Usually we don’t like change and risk. We view them as trouble, difficult, unwanted. I think they are a necessary part of life. Not just a necessary evil, but something that is necessary for a good, balanced life. We endured risk when we learned to walk and talk. Things changed when we went to school. Our lives are full of change and risk. Sometimes we are unwilling to take a risk to remove the old things from our lives that need to go and make room for something new that God wants to do. It's hard to take the risk and let God bring about the change.

Unfortunately, we are also often unwilling to risk very much to tell our friends about God. We could bring about a great change in their lives – and their eternal lives. But we think the risk is too great.

How much are you willing to risk, to bring about a great change?


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