Being the first one’s to build at the end of our street, we knew was a luxury of quiet for a time, but soon the noise began.
“Good fences make good neighbors,” my husband said. “Maybe we should go ahead and put up a fence.”
I didn’t want to come across as “that” neighbor who was hard to understand and closed off. An instant fence certainly would give that impression.
Beside that, we still had a slim barrier of trees that hid the home from view.
We went to bed one evening with “caution” tape woven through those trees bordering our driveway.
As I showered and got ready the next morning, I began to hear the band of machines warming up for their concert.
My bathroom and closet back up to that side of the house. First the chainsaw tuned up, then some sort of back hoe came to join the song as it screeched and scraped, occasionally banging it’s uncertain rhythm.
Each note of noise, each sound smashing, I knew was the naturally wild wall I coming down.
I rushed to dress, eager to gaze at the latest view, as if there was something I could do to stop it
Would I throw my body down before the great machine in protest? Did I think I had some legal right to stop it?
But God whispered to me, “Maybe you should just not look. After all, I have given you three other sides if your house with plenty of windows and an abundance of beauty. Choose to only look out of those.”
Interestingly, my bathroom and closet, while very close to this ruckus, are on the one side if my house that has very few windows. One is over my bathtub and has a heavy “rain” texture for privacy. It would not allow me to spy on the site. The other is a very small, high window in my closet, simply installed to let in natural light. I would need to drag a chair in to stand tippy toe on it and peek out.
Other than the horrific sounds of destruction, I was honestly protected from it’s view.
I would have to finish getting dressed and exit through the garage, standing on my driveway to watch the demolition.
“But, God…,” I heard myself whine inside, “that grinding is so very loud. I can’t stand it!”
And He continued to remind me that just as He had given Adam and Eve ALL the trees in the garden from which to eat, He only limited them from one.
Somehow THAT was the one they wanted most.
Why is it we are so eager to have the part of life that is “off limits?”
Why is it that we assume these things are under our control?
And why do I have such a sour attitude that I believe it will turn out so awful?
Maybe this will, in fact, improve the view?
Maybe these neighbors may turn out to be our best new friends?
Or maybe, God is just trying to have me let go just a little bit more of my control and my will to have it go “my way,” again?
“Lord, just like the home next door, my heart is under construction. I can feel every pulse of the chainsaw and here every scrape of the backhoe tearing away at my selfishness. Strip me of my pride that says, ‘me first,’ let me know that You have the best plan for me, with beauty all around… not just on three sides. And that You are making me more beautiful… even if it takes some stripping away… first.
I trust in You!”