Have you ever created something, just to watch it being destroyed by others. Have you ever handed over something special to you and watched as it seemed to be misused. That is hard to deal with, but can any good come from this destruction?
I busted out my balloons for our big 46th Anniversary Sunday at church. I spent hours twisting and tying these balloons together in an attempt to make the day special for all who would attend. I am not the greatest balloon artist, but I do the best I can. By the end of the day the platform in my 3rd-6th grade Junior Church was filled with my creations. I just couldn’t wait to see the look of wonder on the face of the children!
For some odd reason my Beautiful Bride does not want me to bring all these balloons home, so I end up giving them all away. I had two of my workers hand out some cards that would guarantee a balloon as rewards for good behavior. As I handed out my creations to the winners I realized that my son had been rewarded with one of the balloon cards. When it came his turn to choose, he decided to take home the balloon rainbow.
I was doing some after party cleanup when I received a text from my Beautiful Bride. She had sent me a picture of a balloon sword that Squirmy had made all on his own. I really was quite impressed! I had never shown him how to make one, and he had figured out how to do it just from watching me!
I was amazed at his skill, but then I had the thought. Where did he get that balloon? I realized that he had destroyed the creation I had worked so hard on just so he could make his own pirate sword. How rude!
I realized that there comes a time when we must hand off things to others. Things that we have often worked hard on, poured time, effort, and finances into; and we must then pass it off to someone else. It is true that often we must then watch it all start to fall apart. That is a difficult thing to watch. Sometimes it makes us unwilling to “pass the torch”. Sometimes we fear giving things over to the next generation because we fear that it might not be the same.
What I watched Squirmy do with my balloon creation was admittedly disheartening. I had worked hard at what I had created, and he just destroyed it! But, when I realized that he was taking what I gave him and was learning how to make his own creation; I started seeing it a little differently. He was not just destroying what I had done, he was studying it, analyzing it, and learning from it. He learned from what I had created, and he learned from some mistakes he made as it began to fall apart. Sure, it didn’t look anything like what I gave him when he was done; but that did not mean it was not as wonderful.
When we pass things along to our children, to our employees, to those who come behind us; often it will not remain exactly what we built. Often it will go through a time of creative destruction. A time where they are learning how to use what we have passed on to create something new. Often what comes from this destructive process is something far better than what they originally started with.
We need to remember that what we have created or built has grown from our own mistakes. We have learned from them, and God has used them to patiently teach us how to serve Him better. We do others a disservice when we are unwilling to let them make their own mistakes.
Who do you think has it worse? Those that fear having what they have built be destroyed? Or is it the fear that you will destroy what others have passed to you? Are you at the stage of passing the torch, or of receiving it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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