Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wrong house demolished

Georgia Contractor Using GPS Coordinates, Not Street Address, Demolishes Wrong House
Turns out GPS isn't all it's cracked up to be. A crew using coordinates from a global positioning system demolished a 60-year-old home in Carrollton earlier this week, but it was the wrong house. The home's owner, Al Byrd of Atlanta, said he heard about the mistake when a neighbor called him to tell him the house he grew up in — along with his family heirlooms — had been destroyed.
Wow. Just...wow. I feel for that guy. It is a terrible thing when a house is demolished. Worse when it could have been prevented.

It's like today, with God's house and the issue of discernment. Let's use the analogy of the work crew to describe the lack of discernment in Christians today, and its eventual and sure result: a destroyed house.

There are two parts to discernment: preparation/awareness and courage. The crew should have prepared. Perhaps there was a photo included in the work order...they should have noticed it. They should have studied the route, decided on the best way to approach the demolition. They should have prepared their approach with more care. Instead, they casually relied on a GPS system, an extra-curricular document and known to have flaws. They took their work cavalierly, they were too casual as to its importance, and they were completely unprepared for the task at hand.

Even with that said, there are signs and clues as to which direction you are going. They could have realized it was taking longer to get there, or noticed the sun on their right instead of their left, indicating they were going north instead of south. There are street signs, and finally, there is a house numbering address affixed to the house. The crew was unaware, unperceptive as to where they were going. The result of their lack of preparation and their unawareness was a destroyed house.

It takes a lot of unawareness to bulldoze the wrong home. You have to NOT pay attention to a lot of things, over a long time, for a mistake like this to happen. But maybe there was a guy in the truck that was sort of intuiting this maybe was not the way to go. Maybe there was a guy who thought that the photo of the house on the work order was not similar to the one in real life. But he didn't speak up. Maybe he had words before with his boss and couldn't bring himself to knock heads any more. Maybe he just didn't care what happened. Maybe he thought that people smarter than him have things under control. Whatever the reason, he didn't have the courage to speak up and the result is the same as the crew who were unprepared and unaware: total destruction of the house.

It's like this for the Christian. False information doesn't come storming in like a wrecking ball, the wrecking ball is only the end result. Falsity comes with every little turn to the right and left that is not corrected. Falsity comes with reliance on the wrong texts or systems. Falsity comes when we are cavalier as to the enormity and importance of the task. It comes when we are unaware and relax our vigilance. Falsity comes when no one speaks up to say 'hey, I think we are going down the wrong road.' The result is ALWAYS a destroyed house.

There is an issue of discernment in the Christian life today. Can we detect falsity when we come across it? Not if we do not study God's plan and only His plan, not some other (flawed) system. Can we determine whether we are on the right road? Not if we do not have a close prayer relationship with Jesus. Can we approach our task with the gravity it deserves? Not if we do not put aside our will and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. We must be vigilant, prepared, studied, and have courage to speak up. Otherwise when the wrecking ball comes and we stand before Him who created it all, what will we say? "Oops" is not a proper response.

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