This image of a young man more intent on outward appearance than real change really spoke to me. I pondered it for weeks and finally brought the article with me to work, hoping to share it with a co-worker.
That opportunity came unexpectedly when a co-worker came to work impaired. He was on medications that had so occluded his ability that he himself didn’t seem aware of what he had done. He hid the issue well enough that we assumed he was just having an off day until an officer showed up looking for the driver of his vehicle. It had been reported driving recklessly over a curb. It didn’t help my co-worker that when he was escorted to his vehicle by the officer, they found it impacted into the bumper of another car.
He, like all of us are so prone to do, was trying to look alright when something was seriously amiss.
I gave the article to another co-worker who has really impressed me by his strong work ethic coupled with a determination and exercised ability to overcome alcohol abuse that was destroying his life at one point. When we talked, he assessed what was happening to our co-worker and vehemently said, “I’m never going back there!” I shared the picture with him and as he took in the broken shell of the building with the man simply trying to just cover up, he concluded that it didn’t look like it would help much. I told him, “Our Father in Heaven is going to start from the inside if we’ll let him. He will rebuild us with a new heart, just like the Provo City Center Temple.”
I told him how it had burned down and how it had been considered a terrible tragedy, but then inspiration came to remake it. What was a beautiful tabernacle before now was rebuilt into a temple of God that exceeded the original building in every aspect. That painful purge was the beginning of rebirth.
Our lives are like this. The men I work with at the addiction recovery meetings often have houses in disrepair, but by coming to meetings, they take off their whitewashed masks, and in essence say, “This is my real house. Please come take a look. It isn’t in great shape. It needs to be fixed and I don’t know where to start.” This is the beginning of the miracle of rebirth. I promise any of you reading – if you say this to our Savior and trust him with your heart, you can come clean and your mansion beautiful beyond anything we can comprehend.