An Explosive Implosion
Posted on March 26, 2012 - 10:07am in Pastor Jim's Blog
At 7:30am yesterday morning (3/25/2012), I turned on my TV just in time to see the implosion of the iconic Amway Arena in Orlando. For many years this facility was the home for the Orlando Magic and many great artists passing through Central Florida. My fondest memories of the place include going to our first NBA games, seeing some of my friends give their lives to Jesus at Promise Keepers and taking our kids to the circus there.
As I watched the quick and calculated explosion, and thus implosion, of the famous center my thoughts were not so much on the memories I had made in that space, but on how the image before me provided a tragic metaphor for something that I see happening all too frequently in the lives of the very thing that matters most to God – People! A guy decides to cheat and his marriage implodes, greed goes a step too far and leaves a family financially devastated, or a simple step down temptations trail turns into a road of no return. It was amazing to me that in just a matter of seconds a structure that had stood tall and proud for many years was reduced to rubble. Tragically we see similar human carnage each day in the news media we read and often in the relationships that we share.
Here are a few observations on the explosion of this Orlando icon that can perhaps provide us with some help to avoid personal implosion.
1) Make sure your life is not empty.
The primary reason why the Amway Arena was brought to the ground was because it was not needed any more. A new Center has been built and for the past couple of years the facility has been empty. When something has been empty for so long it quickly loses its purpose and it makes sense that implosion is the inevitable conclusion. As I look around at friends whose lives have imploded I can see emptiness within them. There was some kind of hole, some kind of need, some kind of something that was missing… and their life became empty. Often these people had lots of things going for them that they thought would fill their soul, but truth be told, they were empty inside. Emptiness often leads to implosion because when God created us, He didn’t mean for us to be empty. In fact, Jesus said that He came so that we can have a “Full Life”. One of the first things we must do to avoid implosion is to ensure that our life is full of the life, purpose, and meaning that only Jesus can give.
2) See if confusion is reigning in your life.
As the building went down this morning, there really wasn’t much to see. A few bangs, a few sparks and then a cloud of smoke that covered all visibility. In the confusion of all the smoke though, something terrible was happening underneath its cover. The foundations of the structure were being torn down. Throughout the Old and New Testaments confusion is never a good thing because confusion provides opportunity for the enemy to undermine while he is under the radar. If confusion is reigning, if there is a big cloud of smoke around your life, quickly step outside of the smoke! Seek counsel from a wise and objective friend. Take a break, breath deeper… just get out. When the clouds are thick, it is fertile ground for the enemy to knock down the foundations of our lives.
3) Realize that things collapse from the inside first.
If you watch the video of the building collapsing (embedded) you’ll notice that the detonation didn’t send pieces of debris throughout Orlando, it just caused the building to collapse from the inside out. A sobering truth for all of us is that we are only three or four bad decisions away from losing everything. This is how destruction happens in our life. Before morality is violated or before gambles are lost, character has first collapsed. Something has died within. Jesus says repeatedly in the New Testament that our inner life, our character, our integrity and our ethics are the strong foundation from which to build our lives. If our house is to survive troubled times, it must be built on a solid foundation. This solid found is Jesus Christ.
Here these words of exhortation and encouragement from the Apostle Paul:
“18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior”. Philippians 3:18-20
The enemy wants to strategically place destructive dynamite in your life to cause you to implode. Don’t let him. Make a commitment to live with purpose, clarity and character.