I had three pretty determined kids one summer. They wanted a swimming pool. And they were willing to work hard to make it happen. I actually had no idea what they had in mind that first day--I just knew they were busily entertaining themselves outside. I'd look out every once in awhile just to make sure they were near the apartment building we were living in at the time. But at the end of the day, they begged me to come see what they'd done. They were so proud! So I followed them to the end of the complex where the apartment manager had stacked some bricks which were for an eventual barbecue patio for the apartment dwellers. And there it was---a pile of bricks all stacked up about a foot high and probably 3x4 feet in diameter. They'd spent the entire day building their new swimming pool.
I told them how proud I was of them! They'd done an incredible feat. They had imagined something in their minds and created it. Of course, I didn't tell them it wouldn't hold water...or that it wasn't even big enough for the three of them...or that bricks would hurt your body. They wanted to fill their pool with water, but I told them it was time for dinner and the water would have to wait until the next day. What we didn't foresee was our apartment manager picking up each single brick and putting it back in its original place. The kids were devastated the next morning to find their work had been undone, but they were more determined than ever. They had their construction plan down--they knew how to build that pool even faster. So they set to work and rebuilt their swimming pool. And again, the next day, the bricks were stacked against the building. This went on for a full week until my three determined kids gave up. It wasn't that they'd discovered their pool couldn't hold water--they just couldn't stay ahead of the apartment manager who was dismantling their masterpiece.
How often do we have creative ideas and begin to work hard with great determination only to have the enemy dismantle our creation with one negative thought after another? We put a brick down, he picks it back up...undermining our discovery, our vision, and our value.
That brick swimming pool is one of our favorite family memories. I'm not so sure how the apartment manager remembers it.