Everyone nerds out over something. I’m not a huge video gamer but there are a few games that I really get into, such as the Batman Arkham games. You girls can laugh but I know you all have Pinterest accounts, and that’s nerdy, too.
I was playing the first one a year or two ago and was doing pretty well. I had made it to the final level and saved my game so I could come back and beat it later. Well, as is every guy’s worst nightmare, something happened and somehow my game got deleted. All those well-spent, totally meaningful, society-benefiting hours of dedication I had put into the game were for nothing! I sat there contemplating if I wanted to play through the entire game again to get to the last level when I had a great idea: I could just watch the ending on YouTube. So I did. And it was awesome.
No one likes to have to completely start over when you’ve come so far. The idea of having to do the same levels or go through the same situations again is enough to make you want to give up completely.
As I find myself back at square one with the loss of my job, I see myself dreading doing the same things I hoped I would never have to do again. Like spend hours job hunting. And getting dressed up to go interview at temp agencies. Or listen to kids right out of college talk about how hard their three weeks of job search was and restrain myself from punching them.
It’s hard to feel like you’re back at the bottom when you’ve worked so hard to get so far away from it. As people, especially rich people living in the United States, we tend to equate our self-worth with our net worth. What you have on the outside is more important than what you have on the inside.
This is dangerous for a few reasons, but right now I will only discuss one. It’s dangerous because you never know who you could be talking to. You never know what someone is capable of and what will come back around. I believe that we reap what we sow, and the bridges you burn could be the ones you one day wish you could be walking on.
I’ve seen people get knocked down and stay down, but I have also seen what it looks like for someone to have a comeback. I like the comeback stories way more than the “Everything went according to plan” stories.
People know how to rebuild. We’ve been doing it forever. There is a great resilience in mankind that refuses to let tragedy be the end of them. I can only speak of losing my job, but there are so many other stories of rebuilding.
When a weather disaster hits homes and a community comes together. They rebuild.
When soldiers and civilians lose arms and legs and they find a way to still compete in sports and do amazing things. They rebuild.
When wives are abandoned by their husbands, but they still find a way to provide for their children. They rebuild.
When we are forced to leave our comforts and everything we’re familiar with. We rebuild.
It’s not easy. In many ways it’s harder to rebuild than it is to build something for the very first time. But we can do it. We can learn from it. And we are better for it. James 1:3 says, “The testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
I think life is a lot like the story of Rumpelstiltskin. We have a room full of straw and somehow we have to turn it to gold. We take these times we hate the most and from them produce something amazing.
Every bad circumstance has something good close by, but the good doesn’t always pop out right in front of you. Sometimes you have to hunt it down. Sometimes you have to dig under the rubble, but the good is there waiting to be found.
I’ve had the lyrics of the hymn “He Set Me Free” stuck in my head lately.
“Daily I’m working, I’m praying too,
And glory to God I’m going through.”
When resilience meets grace and love, glory to God, we can rebuild.