Laying Down and Picking Up

Originally published in May 2013 on my old Lego blog.

Just over a year ago life changed, dramatically. Over a few short months I realised my marriage had reached the point of collapse, and found myself moving from a 3-bed semi with a permanent Lego space to a cosy 2 bed apartment, living on my own and establishing a new living pattern, space and way of being. Emotionally, I was all over the place, and the last thing I wanted to do was tinker with Lego when all I could see was what I'd lost; space to build and be creative, a relationship that my life was built around, and the security I thought I had in those things.

Since then, I've seen myself being rebuilt. I'm a Christian, I've spent 20 years leading Christian youth groups and heard many, many stories of healing. Now I've lived, and am living, through that healing and restoring, they aren't just stories of healing, I have a different perspective. There's no "fairytale ending", the marriage relationship is over, but I am in a better place.

I've learned to appreciate the things we take for granted: I have a roof over my head, a job that pays the rent and puts food on the table and enables me to enjoy my hobbies. I've shifted my focus. Lego used to be a huge part of who I am (and still is), but I don't want it to be the be-all-and-end-all that at times it became. I spent a year without touching the little bricks with any interest. I did the soul searching. I laid it all out before God, warts and all, and let go of everything I held dear. I used to think I could take Jesus teaching on "give everything up and follow me" seriously, that if called to do it, I could, wherever that may lead. Now, having let go of Lego for a year, the itch is back and I'm scratching, but I am willing to let go of it again if that's what God calls me to do.

My attitude had changed. Friends children call me "Lego Andy", which is cute, and separates me from their Dad Andy, but I want to be known for more than that. I want to use my Lego to point towards God. He's re-built me, he's given me the ability to build and create, I want Him to take the glory. We sing "Jesus, be the centre", but how often do we let our interests/hobbies/habits get in the way? I know I have done.

I laid down the bricks for a year, willing to not take them up again if part of the future for me is in a place where it's not practical to have it all with me. I don't know, by the way, what that future holds or where it is, but while I can, I'm enjoying building, aware of the talent God has blessed me with.

I don't know what this layout will look like when it's "finished", I don't know what I'll be like in 2 years, 10 years, 20 years, or where I'll be living. But I do know that while I might still be known as Lego Andy, I also want to be known as someone who, among other things, builds Lego, builds the part of the Kingdom of God I'm living in and is willing to change as the vision evolves.