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As many people know, we are in the process of a major bathroom remodel. I started on September 1, and I’m nearly done already. That might be impressive, if not for the fact that I started in the year 2021. Yes, my dear wife Leanne is quite a forbearing lady. I have given her endless opportunities to practice over our 15 years of marriage, so it is no surprise that this outstanding character quality of hers has been so well refined.

When I started in Sept 2021, I had high hopes of knocking this project out by Christmas. And as you might guess, that is still my goal. I’m just not sure which Christmas (though there has been a request from the aforementioned forbearing lady to get it done by this coming Christmas!). The only remaining significant project waiting to be completed is for me to build the bathroom vanity. Ideally, a nice, beautiful vanity. (A few months ago I built a cheapo 2×4 vanity, stuck our old sink in it, and connected the pipes, so that the bathroom could be fully functioning, if not completed.)

To be fair, it was a major, major project. We took down all the sheetrock, turned one of our hallway closets into part of the bathroom, and relocated the toilet, sink and tub, which then requires relocated drainpipes and water supply lines. It’s been a pretty major renovation.

Motivation for the hard work of renovation is a funny thing. There’s an instant when we can feel absolutely gung-ho, ready to knock down walls, bust apart old cast iron tubs, and draw up plans for a brighter future. But motivation can be harder to find on some days. And so the project has been very slow.

I’ve found the same parallel in my walk with the Lord. Sometimes I hear a sermon, or I read something in Scripture, or get inspiration from a friend, and I recognize what I presume is God’s voice speaking to me about changes I need to make in this or that area of my life. A spiritual renovation. Perhaps I’m realizing that I need to make more concerted efforts to find a quiet space to read the Bible and pray. Or perhaps we identify an area of sin in our lives, like a tendency to lash out at our family members when we are battling feelings of anger.

And that first week of work is great! Sure, it’s hard, but I’m motivated. But by the second or third week, I often discover that I’m much less motivated to continue. That initial moment of inspiration and excitement has faded, and now I’m just left with hard work. Can you relate? So what do you do?

What I need to do on my bathroom project is that I need to get back out in the garage and get to work. To stop stalling and start working. This last weekend I spent a number of hours doing some garage reorganization, because it had reached a point of chaos where it would be hard to do the work in the limited space I have. It was a disaster. To be fair, it still is a disaster, but not quite as disastrous, with a path forward to being neatly organized again. Or at least organized enough to be a workable space. It’s the first step toward getting back to the project of building the bathroom vanity.

And that’s often the key, right? To once again take whatever first step is in front of you. Even if that first steps feels like digging out of a deeper hole than where you started to begin with (and that’s sure what it feels like to do the first step of cleaning the garage!). Is there a conviction you’ve felt from the Lord sometime in the past, that has stalled out? Is there some area of your spiritual life that, at one point, you knew needed work? What would you think about picking that “project” back up?

In truth, you’re most likely to find success in that “project” if you have some others help you. Likely they can’t do the work for you, but they can encourage you, hold you accountable, help you restart again when you are ready to stop. I’m excited for the upcoming Monday Men’s Group that will be meeting at EBC from 7-8:15pm, beginning Monday, October 3 and going until Monday, November 28. I am hopeful that it will be a place where I am a catalyst for others, and others are a catalyst for me, in doing some spiritual renovation work. It’s one opportunity among many to find help for spiritual renovation.

Sustained success in this kind of renovation really does work best when you find one or more brothers or sisters in the Lord who will help you keep going when you feel like giving up. So for the men who are available to join the Monday Men’s Group, I look forward to seeing the renovation work He is going to allow us to be a part of with one another. And I hope this kind of work is happening in all our many Life Groups, as well. That we each would be conformed more and more to the image of Christ, that he might receive glory due His name.

Pastor Ryan Donovan

Categories: Evergreen Connection