Several years ago, Ronda and I decided it was time to remodel our kitchen. Our house was built in 1953, so our kitchen was vintage mid-50s style. Tile countertops with dirty grout, vinyl flooring with tears and stains, cabinets with chipped paint and lighting so dim that it was hard to distinguish a cake from a casserole. While Ronda and I are not Chip and JoAnna Gaines, Ronda is very good at choosing finishes and matching styles and I know just enough about building stuff to be dangerous.
Ronda shared her vision with me of a beautiful new kitchen with stylish cabinets, tile flooring, granite countertops, bright lighting and a larger space which would require tearing down a wall. I had a somewhat different vision at first. I saw the possibility of embarking on a project that could drag on for years. A project that would occupy every Saturday of my life until retirement and after. A project that would mean cooking the Thanksgiving turkey and dressing on the grill. A project that would require us to go outside to get the butter out of the refrigerator. A project that would make the house a construction zone for years.
And then there were the financial requirements. Renovations are expensive. And we would have to pay for the renovations in addition to keeping up with the rest of the bills. Wouldn’t we look silly having a new kitchen but no electricity or running water?
Visions can be scary. Visions can be a lot of work. Visions can be messy. That’s why most people avoid them. It is so easy to stay the same. It is so easy just to be comfortable with where you are and not go through all the work to become all you could be. But I learned a very valuable lesson through the process and completion of our kitchen renovation.
We were able to complete our kitchen in about nine months. We didn’t have to sell the house to pay for it and we still have power and water. And while completing the work was satisfying, the fruits of the vision are just being realized. Having a nice space is great, but filling that nice space with special people reveals the real fruits of the vision. Now, many family gatherings are shared in that kitchen. Church friends come over and share this space with us. Wonderful holiday meals are prepared there. Chocolate pies are baked there to be shared with the people we love. Visions completed yield fruits that last long after the dust settles.
God has blessed First Baptist Church in Graham with a great vision. We have a facility that needs updating. That first step has been scary, and things are a bit messy right now. Soon, each of us will be called upon to get messy. There are rooms to be painted, floors to be cleaned and repairs to be made. But that is just the road we must travel to get to the fruits of our vision. Can you imagine clean, safe rooms filled with children? Do you see families with a nice place to gather for meetings or assistance? Can you comprehend what our youth group will look like in a few short years, meeting in their own space?
As we work through the messiness of our vision, don’t lose sight of the real fruits of our labor. God has blessed us with a tremendous facility, and we are reclaiming that blessing! God has blessed us with a heart for this community, and we are stepping out of our comfort zone to reach those in need! Through it all we must remember, visions completed yield fruits that last long after the dust settles.