"I came in like a wrecking ball!" as bellowed by Evangelist Myley Cyrus, can describe many moments in our lives. I suppose when we read Solomon's synopsis of times and seasons, one tends to identify more with the negative aspects of each comparison. Psychologists refer to this as negativity bias because adverse events significantly impact our brains more than positive ones. #heavenhelpus
As I zeroed in on those last two words, break down. I realize that it can be a compound word as well. Immediately I knew this would give the phrase a different meaning. The single-word breakdown is a noun referring to the result of the action—while the two-word version, break down, is a verb that calls attention to the 'action' leading to the result. As I read various versions in the Bible of this scripture, whether it interchanged, tear down or break down, it used two words rather than its compound version.
So let's explore the verb explanation of this phrase.
Break down—the action that leads to results. Or, in today's vernacular, "Make it make sense!" This begs an obvious question, "What actions have you or have you not taken that landed you where you are?" Better yet, "Are you willing to retrace your steps and make the necessary corrections?"
Trek with me for a moment. Have you ever seen a building being constructed and then, all of a sudden, work comes to a screeching halt? Then before you know it, years have passed, and though the structure remains, it's nothing more than an eyesore.
I'm sure you've also observed that the bricks have become discoloured over time, and blocks have either chipped or started falling apart. Weeds have overgrown the structure, and, in some instances, it's intertwined, almost becoming one with it. What the elements of nature have done as time passed is weaken the structure and caused it to be severely compromised. For construction to continue, workers must reinforce what remains or break it down and begin again.
In another aspect, many, if not most, can attest to a breakdown in life. You know, events that seem focused on beating folks to a pulp. So much so that they'd have to wave a white flag in surrender. #igee The majority of us refer to it as a 'hard season.' One that feels like a song that never ends. #itgoesonandonmyfriend I'm sure if you ask the woman with the issue of blood, she will concur that 'hard' was an understatement. Twelve years is hardly a short time. It's the equivalent of a child's entire primary to high school career. Honestly, you never have to look far to hear about adversity; more often than not, you needn't go further than looking in the mirror.
Much like the rough patch, a dilapidated building also breaks down because the development process has stopped. I suppose this is a great place to segue into the aspect of a 'break down' I really want to get to. And if we can wrap our minds around this concept, the idea of any breakdown will be more understandable and, in some instances, even welcomed.
"So break it down for me!" a phrase that is often used when one needs to comprehend what was said a little more clearly—as in its simplest form. Or as it is defined, to understand or interpret the nature, meaning or significance of. This thought caused me to look closer at laws, as it relates to the rule or principle that always works the same way under the same conditions.
There are three laws of thermodynamics, the second law being: that nothing ever remains the same. When we put it in perspective, it highlights that anything, if left unattended, will deteriorate.
I began mulling over that thought, and without getting too deep or trying to sound philosophical, it bought some personal issues to light. I started questioning what in my life has been left unattended and, as a result, is falling apart. For a split second, I was drawing a blank. Perhaps I was clouded by the notion, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" But the truth is that just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it shouldn't be maintained.
For a long time, I felt that once I worked to get from point A to point B, that meant there was nothing else to do. After all, I reached a destination, right? Wrong. Completion of a task now means it's time to preserve. Hear me out. Eventually, with anything building, you must repaint it, patch a hole here and there, or change out fixtures. When either of these things goes unattended, the value decreases. As in life, no matter how many degrees you attain, you'll need a refreshers course, a seminar or a training session at some point. Shoot, even your cell phone is periodically updated to fix bugs. There will always be room to improve, lest we forget anything left unattended eventually weakens or declines.
Many years ago, some lady's son told me the only thing I was consistent at was being inconsistent. While at that moment, it was a truth I wasn't prepared to accept, in retrospect, I can see how that played out in so many of my life's chapters. I was an expert at starting, but that finish was few and far between. You may notice it in your own life. It starts subtle, in the small things we deem unimportant. Like sweeping dirt in the corner, and a week later, it's still there. Beginning to read a book in January, and before you know it, you're singing a Christmas carol while your bookmarker is still at chapter 2. Or the diet you restart every Monday because you've fallen off the wagon by a mere whiff of KFC. Let's not even talk about fasting. #iykyk
When likened to construction, I would take my life to the framing stage. And though it is an accomplishment, my audacity to memorialize that, disregarding there was so much more work ahead—meant I stayed stuck. It was like the scene in Love and Basketball when Monica scored, but while she was basking in her jump-shot position, the other team scored. I can't say if it was ironic or well deserved, but her coach took her out of the game and made her stand in that position for the remainder of practice. #ifkeepitmovingwasaperson
For my forward mobility, I had to get in a quiet place and break it down. Determine where I was, find where I was going wrong and what actions I kept repeating, then map out the steps I needed to take to avoid making the same mistakes. I’m sure of this—knowing what to do is great, but knowing what NOT to do is equally beneficial.
Whenever I visit the United States, there is never not construction happening. There is always a new road being constructed or maintaining what already is. Every few years, airports get a facelift, and new technology is being implemented. Our life should mimic the same.
But before you even get to construction, know your region's building code. (i.e. the minimum standard required to ensure safety and stability) In my country, The Bahamas, our buildings are typically built with concrete blocks because of our geographical location —smack dab in a hurricane region. In comparison, I've seen other places that require houses to have a basement, which provides a safe option for people during a severe tornado. Different natural disasters, different solutions. #weareNOTthesame
Either way, a building must be able to withstand. Breaking it down requires you to prepare in advance for the expected.
Additionally, it would behoove anyone to talk to those who've already done what you aspire to do before you build. Herein lies the importance of having a plan and speaking to a financial advisor. Each will help you to build what you can afford to construct and maintain. In other words, one should abide in their calling.
Consider these factors why your (life’s) building project may need a breakdown if you have to stop mid-construction:-
The building site was not prepared, and the foundation was not properly poured. (You've been going through life not doing any inner work).
You didn't have the proper permit, nor did you do any framing (Trying to keep up with the Joneses, and you have no plan).
The financier of the project dies. (Who is fueling your dream? Also, grief and/or rejection has paralyzed you into a holding pattern).
Is there proper insulation? (This is important because it creates a consistent indoor climate. In other words, what's the position of your heart).
Improper inspection after each phase. (Who is signing off on what is being done? You can't be judge, jury, and executioner of your own situations).
Luke's summation of all of this reminds us of the importance of working smart. "So why do you keep calling me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say? I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins." Luke 6:46-49
Breaking it down means you need to take it back to the foundation. Knowing what you're building on dictates the integrity of your building. With that said, don't be afraid to start over. Don't be scared of the mess, inconvenience and delays of a construction site. Most of all, don't die having let everybody BUT God use you.