Catching the fall colors in and around North Carolina’s LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center was just one benefit of my recent volunteer stay. In addition to making new friends and enjoying precious fellowship, I served numerous groups and individual families at the expansive campus. Schedules and themes varied, of course, but presumably, all came with a goal of becoming more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 12:1-2).
Huge scaffolding reached skyward in front of the venerable Pritchell Hall. Months ago, a huge section of roof fell to the ground with a thundering noise. Although the collapse occurred during a busy check-in period, no one was hurt (but that’s another story)!
This renovation began before I came and was completed a day or two before my departure; quite a huge and costly undertaking. One day, while leaving the Rhododendron dining room, I came across two volunteers giving a coat of powder-blue paint to the dull gray walls of a large conference room. Probably this chore didn’t take more than a day or two. As I walked back to the volunteer lodging area, I passed through the lovely Mountain Laurel hotel. The east section was built several years ago; and the west, more recently. To make these gracious accommodations possible, older, run-down buildings had to be demolished and the rubble removed.
A fresh paint job, a sizeable repair project, a totally-new construction. These were building projects, but the same applies to the lives of guests who venture onto the grounds many call “God’s country”. Yes, it seems to be a hallowed place where God does some of His finest work. Some who come need only a light touch, others need a bit more (or a lot more) renovation, and there are those who need a brand-new beginning.
Thankfully, God has a promise for all who are His children, or who will become such during a stay at Ridgecrest:
“… [H]e who began a good work in you will carry it on
to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 1:6 NIV)
No matter how much renovation and rebuilding is needed, I pray each who encounters the Master builder will cooperate with His plans, as His “blueprints” are always perfect.