Wednesday, June 30, 2010
30 Days of Smell -- Road Construction
For the past few days, a prominent smell every morning and late afternoon has been a mixture of dust, pulverized concrete, diesel fuel, heavy equipment exhaust, blacktop, and the like. The powers that be have decreed that a portion of Interstate 70 on my route to and from work needs updating. So updating it they are -- and not just sorta updating it, either.
No patching here... they are taking the road down to the roadbed beneath. Down to the dirt. Which has meant tearing up the concrete, pulling out all the old rebar, regrading, putting down beds of gravel and leveling it, setting up new rebar structures, and pouring new concrete.
It really is a very thorough process ... and interesting to watch. And, and this is for that same fellow I always seem to get stuck behind passing through the construction zone, you can still watch it at 45 mph! You don't have to slow down to 20!
Okay, now that that's out of my system, while the construction smells drifted into the Camry's cabin this morning, it set me to thinking about how many times I had rebuilt the roadway of my life. Not many, to be honest. Oh, I've done lots of patching. Ripped out a bad section or two and smoothed it up. Put a fresh coat of spiritual sealer down.
But I've never taken it down to bedrock and built it back up again. And so maybe I am long past due for such an overhaul. To strip away all the layers that have built up since my initial decision that I would "arise and go to Jesus."
My road looks pretty smooth to me... until I put my head down and look along the surface. Perhaps it is a bit wavy and rough. So I will heed the advice of Isaiah -- "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people." I will take some time to strip my road to God back down to the bedrock of belief and rebuild slowly with prayer and reading and silence. Just enough surface to travel along ... to get me to my destination. And in so doing I will, to rephrase Isaiah just a wee bit, "Prepare ye the way to the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway to our God."
I pray that I have the spiritual strength to say with the Quaker mystic Pierre Ceresole: "Eternal, grant me the possibility of revising, understanding and weighing everything anew, truly and freely, without violence. Grant me not to be fossilized against your Spirit and your Call, but to be ready at your command to start everything over again and undo all I had thought I had also built at your command previously."
I wonder what smells I'll smell as I begin the tearing down?