Let the Blocks Fall

We hear the words “building blocks” throughout our lives. One of the first things we learn as a toddler is how to stack blocks. We learn that it takes time and effort, and also a bit of frustration, to get it right. We learned to build on solid surfaces so that our structure had a chance of survival. Every now and then, we would have to knock down the whole pile and start from scratch, because it just didn’t have a sound foundation. Other times, we simply realized it wasn’t going to stand, so we’d give up and walk away. We learned that the first and most important rule was to build on a solid, steady base. In that playtime, we gleaned some of the most valuable lessons we’ll ever learn; lessons we’ll use again and again throughout our lives.

Relationships, careers, homes, even our own character are all built upon the principle of building blocks. During the task of rebuilding my business years ago after an auto accident, I changed focus quite a few times. Thankfully, I was open to change and as the whole of my life’s foundation had already shifted, I eventually found solid ground. Since then, I’ve walked away from a few areas and built other areas up.

I’m still building.

And what I realized through all of it is that falling blocks weren’t nearly as important as the ones left standing. One block falls now, and I simply move forward.

I’ve learned that while building blocks in our relationships is the same principle, it is much harder work. Most importantly, much like building blocks on a solid, steady base, I learned that not all relationships are meant to stand. And that’s okay. Some may only be meant to last a short time for a purpose. I had to be sure to distinguish the strong relationships from other ones built on uneven ground.

My career, before the accident, was a structure I built and watched fall many times. I’d tried to build the same structure over and over with no solid growth. After the accident, I quit trying to build the parts that were never stable. I started building on the solid parts that were sure and strong… and it grew taller and taller. It’s the same with relationships. I build on what is solid and growing.

Be clear, I’m not giving anyone advice to leave a spouse or child, however, I’m saying to reevaluate friendships that are destructive, draining, or abusive. Sometimes those relationships may fall. It is far less frustrating to let some of them fade away than continuing to build and having to watch it fall over and over and over. Assess the relationships that have good foundations; find what is strong and build upon that.

You cannot change people or the choices they make. You will never change someone else. You will never make their decisions for them. You can make decisions for yourself. You can decide to build on the strong, fortifying relationships. Through every crash or demolition in life, we can use those experiences to build ourselves into better people who make better choices. Building our own integrity is the key to a healthy, solid life.

May we take the steps this season to recognize all of the strong areas of our lives and let the blocks fall where they may.

As seen in Modern Grace Magazine