Paul's Perspective - Some Assembly Required

September 11th, 2021

There are three words in the English language that I really dread to hear... "some assembly required".

I must confess that, as a man, I am "handy-less". My wife found this out the first time she asked me to put together some of our children’s Christmas toys. I don’t know about you but I have never attempted to put something together that fit correctly or had all the pieces. She watched as I read the directions, placed all the pieces into their special piles then started the assembly. It wasn’t long before she watched a transformation like a scene from a horror movie. I began to sweat and work, push and pull. "Don’t talk to me; I’m putting this contraption together!" As I raised my hammer to make this square peg fit into this round hole, my wife gently said, “Honey, I’ll get it.” You may want to take away my "man card" but all the tools in my house have pink handles and I am totally thankful.

With that said, I have found that "some assembly required" in our journey through life is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes the best things in life come in pieces and how we put the pieces together determines what we have in the end. I have found out that "some assembly required" is not the threat I thought it was but actually part of the gift. 

Our life as a Christian often functions like a construction project. When we started to really have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, most of us probably found out that life would not be free from struggles and we did not become all knowing. I found out that trials, tribulation, and persecution were actually a part of the Christian life and the only way I could gain knowledge to deal with all this was through prayer and feeding daily on God’s Word. If you have realized the same thing, then your construction project has started.

A number of years ago, the movie Field of Dreams was about a man who had visions that if he built a baseball field in his corn patch, the ghosts of baseball players from his father’s day would return and play on that field. Of course this happened but the movie was made famous by one line – “If you build it, they will come.”

We can read in 2 Chronicles 1-7 about King Solomon building a temple for the Lord. Chapter 7 tells us about the dedication ceremony. Please take time to read this and remember this: every step of the way with this construction project, Solomon and the Israelites believed that “if they built it, He (God) would come and reside there.” The scripture tells us that is exactly what God did.

I have said all this to hopefully drive home this small but important point. We may never build an actual temple building, but we are all builders. We are taking on the challenge of constructing our lives so that we become the kind of people and Law Enforcement Officials God has called us to be. The good news is that the God who calls us to build will join us in the construction process. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20, “ … I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” We can expect that if we take on this self construction project, the Holy Spirit will come and reside in us because “if we build it, He will come.”

Do you feel like God hears you? Do you feel like God sees you? If not, what do you need to do to feel this way? God told Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." We are all construction works in progress and all of us come with "some assembly required". This project will never end until that glorious day when we see our Savior face to face.

No one knew this better than the late Ruth Bell Graham. The epitaph on her tombstone reads:

Ruth Bell Graham
June 10, 1920 – June 14, 2007

“End of Construction. Thank you for your patience”

(Reprinted from the Fall 2011 edition of The Christian Peace Officer newsletter of FCPO-USA)


Paul Lee, Executive Director (Retired Captain, Chattanooga P.D.)
Paul Lee retired from the Chattanooga Police Department with 29 years of service. He has been an FCPO member since 1995, is a former Chapter Chairman and has served in various capacities on the National Board.

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