actvated,sep Home Back to Activated

Personally speaking

Under Construction

New Worlds to Discover

Who is the boss?

Under Construction

Christina Andreassen

The bold red letters glared at us as we crawled along in bumper-to-bumper traffic, maneuvering between potholes and gravelly ditches that had turned what was once smooth pavement into an obstacle course. "UNDER CONSTRUCTION!" Noise, dirt, sweat-soaked workers, and clogged roads had been part of our lives since the city began a road-expansion project several months earlier. Traffic had always been notoriously bad in this part of sprawling Bangkok, but it was worse now.

Barricades had gone up, squeezing three-lane traffic into a single lane. The diggers came next, tearing up the asphalt and clunking and shuddering as they worked around the clock. Construction dust covered everything. Our hour-long commutes into town took twice as long, while we stalled and chafed in exhaust fumes and dust.

"Why do they have to do construction here?" I routinely complained to my dad on our weekly trips to give English lessons at an orphanage near the center of town. "It makes life so inconvenient and confusing for everyone!"

Dad, having long ago outgrown the notion that the world existed to cater to him, would glance sympathetically in my direction and say nothing.

Eventually I became accustomed to the noise and inconvenience, and Dad and I discovered that the car was a great place to catch up on little bits of each other's lives that we had missed in the bustle of our busy days.

The day finally came when the constant jackhammering stopped, the large yellow machines were hauled away one by one, and the barricades with their red-lettered signs and flashing orange lights were carted off to the next construction site.

The next week we made our usual trip to the orphanage, and as usual I braced myself for the long ride. A minute or two later Dad maneuvered our pickup onto an entry ramp and suddenly we were racing above the snarl of city traffic below. The newly constructed flyover, with its smooth surface and intersection-free lanes, took us to the orphanage in a record time of fifteen minutes.

On the way home, as we once again sped above the clogged streets and honking cars, Dad broke the silence. "Do you still wish they hadn't done construction here?"

"Of course not!" I replied, suddenly realizing that the temporary inconvenience we had lived through was nothing compared to the benefits that would now be enjoyed for years.

"Life is full of 'construction sites,'" Dad said. "Learn to be thankful for them and be patient. God is in the process of turning each one into something better."

Christina Andreassen is a member of the Family International in the Middle East.