In 2002, in New Hampshire, I was fired from an international ministry for insubordination. I refused to participate in an enforced repentance that the leader ordered in order to cleanse the “sin in the house” that was adversely affecting book sales.
That suddenly left me illegally living in the USA, being unemployed. I received no severance. We had no money. Lisa and the children piled into our van and fled back to Canada to the church community and friends we’d just left six months earlier. I stayed in New Hampshire to dump our newly acquired house, van and belongings as quickly as I could. Within a couple of months I accomplished the clean up and returned to Canada.
Fortunately we had some funs we’d earned from the sale of the house. With that money I made a downpayment on our home here where we now live. That also gave me enough capital and collateral to buy a dump of a house just down the road. Since I was still unemployed, I thought I would buy this downtrodden house, fix it up, and flip it. I did, and it sold about a year later.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because the dump of a house I bought was unbelievable. I bought it for $50,000. It sat on a huge piece of land. I got a surveyor in and had it measured and discovered it was legally large enough to split into two lots. I did that and sold the other lot for about $25,000. With that and a line of credit, I fixed up the house. Little did I realize the extent of work had to be done. I didn’t lose money, but I didn’t make any profit either. It did provide income for that year though. I ended up selling a lovely home to a single woman.
When I started renovating the house, I thought I would mainly have to do cosmetic repair. No. When I took the paneling off the walls, I discovered the insides full of rats and squirrels and mice nests. The roof leaked. The basement was full of rot. The plumbing was rusted out. The wiring would not pass code. I emptied the house of all the previous owners junk and began stripping the house down. And down. And down. And down. Eventually, all I had left was the bare skeleton. I was filthy, sore, and exhausted.
I had an ethical choice to make:
I could do the cosmetic work and flip it quickly. For some reason, I just couldn’t. The house has a great view of the river, and I imagined a beautiful open concept home with hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings, and contemporary accents with large windows and sliding doors spanning the front of the house out onto a wrap-around deck.
I couldn’t betray my imagination!
So I spent an entire year building the physical manifestation of what I imagined. And I created exactly what I pictured. Beautiful!
This is exactly the same with creating our own spiritual life:
- The deconstruction will be overwhelming, time-consuming, painful and exhausting.
- The reconstruction will be costly, time-consuming and hard work.
- The results can be glorious!
I encourage you to imagine what you want!
- Who are you?
- What inner life suits you best?
- What kind of life do you want to live in?
- What do you imagine a good, wholesome and fulfilling life looks like?
These are fair questions that maybe you haven’t been allowed to ask before. Or maybe you haven’t even allowed yourself to ask yourself these questions yet. But they are yours to ask because it is your life and you are the builder of it.
I hope this helps!
Love you guys!