Building Bridges or Building Walls

We all have opportunities to build bridges or to build walls.  I don’t necessarily mean literally building bridges or building walls though they do make good metaphors.  The relationships we have with those around us are to be cultivated.  It isn’t something that one just has.  It takes work and effort to develop and maintain friendships and relationships.

It is hard work to build bridges.  It takes a lot of effort and dilligence to lay brick by brick the foundation for building bridges.  And the thing with friendships and relationships is that it can’t be a one way street.  It has to work both ways.  Unfortunately, sometimes the other person may build a wall up instead of build a bridge.  They may hurt you with their words and actions.  This in turn will may you want to build a wall instead of a bridge not just to the one who built a wall up to you but to those who are building bridges as well.

I know I’ve built my fair share of bridges and I’ve built my fair share of walls.  It’s hard to build bridges and it’s hard to maintain bridges, especially when people build up walls.  It’s very hard to tear down walls and build a bridge instead.  But that’s where Jesus comes into the picture.  He gives us the strength to build those bridges and He can tear down the walls that we build up.  We may think those walls protect us but in reality they just shut us out from everything and do more damage to ourselves and others than good.

The older I get, the more I understand this.  We all have bricks and we all have a choice.  We can either use those bricks to build bridges or build walls.  I can’t control how others will use their bricks.  But I can control what I do with mine.  And even if someone builds a wall to me, that doesn’t mean I should turn around and build a wall as well.  I need to keep building bridges.

I want to show Christ’s love and build bridges instead of walls and I hope that you will do the same too.

Lessons That I’ve Learned (Or Relearned) On The Journey This Week

It is good to reflect on a regular basis the lessons learned (or in some cases relearned).  Here’s some of those for this week:

*Pain is a part of life.  I say this not as something that I didn’t know but as something I was reminded of this week.  I helped my brother put on a new roof on his garage.  One day was spent tearing off the old roof and another day was spent putting on the new roof.  After one day, I was sore.  After two days, I was very sore.  It’s been two days since and I still feel a little sore from it.  Pain is a part of life, at least in the fallen world we live in now.  There will come a day when pain will no longer be a part of the equation.  There will be life with no pain.  I do look forward to that day.  In the meantime, just keep trusting in Christ to help overcome.

*All you can do is your part, you can’t do anyone else’s part.  I learned this phrase while I was in South Carolina.  It was in regard to discipleship and following Jesus.  It was this “There’s your part, there’s their part & there’s God’s part.”  You are only in control of your part.  I know for me that sometimes I wish that I was in control of all of it.  But that’s not the way it goes, and that’s a good thing.  It is hard enough to do my part.  But the good part of this is that if I do my part then I can live with that.  If I’m not doing my part, then that’s on me.  This can relate to all parts of my life & in all the different relationships I have.  It’s not easy but it is something I’m working on and trying to get better so I can be a good example of this.

I’ll leave you with this song.  It is the theme song from the movie “From Up on Poppy Hill”.  It is one of my favorite films from Hayao Miyazaki.  The song is in Japanese but listen to the melody and the music.  The title is translated into English as “Summer of Farewells” fitting since summer has essentially come to an end.