There is a Time to Tear Down


“To everything there is a season,” is a quote from the Bible. Some might find it confusing that the words “turn, turn, turn,” have no biblical basis to these Scriptures. The Byrds took creative liberties and added these words for their upbeat song. I cringe to share this tidbit because I can hear my kids respond to it. “Who were The Byrds?” they’d ask.

Truth be told, The Byrds were also before my time. Even though most of us aren’t familiar with the mark they left on the music industry in the 1960’s, we’ve all likely heard this song. Moreover, we probably even hummed or sang along with it. It’s a virtual time capsule back to gentler times in our history.

The lesson–in both the Bible and the song–goes on to say that there is a time to tear down down and a time to build up. It’s an essential lesson to hold onto when we encounter snags, roadblocks, or setbacks in life. I would even encourage you to look to it if you have seemingly lost your way.

In April 1879, the University of Notre Dame suffered a severe fire. It’s main building, which was vital to all functions of the fledgling school, was gutted by the fire. Father Sorin, the founder and president of the university, was traveling back to France at the time of seeming disaster. He had only made it to Canada before word of the fire reached him and he returned to the school.

On seeing the wreckage, Father Sorin made an interesting observation. He announced that the fire was God’s way of saying that he had dreamed too small and needed to build a bigger university. Today, it is a premier institution of higher learning.

Invariably, forces outside our control can disrupt our lives. Sometimes, things must be torn down in order to make room for much greater works in keeping with God’s plans. Unfortunately, that way of thinking goes back to gentler times too.

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