Posts Tagged ‘destroying old homes’

Jo 23One morning it was there. By night time, it was gone. We had been warned this was about to happen, but it was still a shock. How could they do such a thing?

For around thirty years, we had become used to the sight of the neat, red-brick home opposite our house. Several years ago, the quiet, elderly lady who owned it passed away and the house was sold. Then one day last year, the new owners told us they now planned to demolish the house and build a new two storey one in its place.

Last week, the wire fences went up around that old red-brick house. Soon the brick veneer and building material containing asbestos were carefully removed, leaving the bones of the old house exposed for all to see. A huge excavator took up residence in the front yard and sat there idle for a few days.

Finally, early one morning, trucks began arriving and that excavator went into action in a big way. By night time, that old home was levelled. The following day, more and more trucks arrived to take away the debris—and now nothing remains of what was once such a comfortable, old home.

I watched all this happen with some sadness. I understand the owners need a bigger house, now that they have three small children. But to me it seemed that with every brick that was removed from that old home, part of the life of the elderly lady who used to live there went with it. I remember her gentle husband as well and how they seemed so devoted to each other. They had no children, they told us once—they would leave the home to a disabled nephew to provide for his future care. Yet now, all trace of this lovely couple has been obliterated.

As well as bringing some sadness, however, this event also served as a sober reminder to me that one day, those material things we cling to so tightly in this world will all disappear. In the end, whatever house we live in, whether it be a mansion or a tumbledown shack, will crumble and disappear. And who can tell what will happen to any of the other material possessions we leave behind?

Even as I was thinking about this, I began reading the next psalm I was up to in my bible. Imagine my surprise when I came to verses 4-6 of Psalm 39:

Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

I don’t really care what happens to our little house after we are gone. But I do care whether the things I am pouring my energies into right now will make an impact that will last for eternity. I want my treasure to be in heaven, where it cannot be destroyed, rather than here where those excavators can demolish it in a day.

How about you? How long will your treasure last? Are you building for heaven or for here?

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