Making Sense of Concrete

I have been thinking about concrete. Three weeks ago, this word randomly came to me as words occasionally do, and it has consumed me ever since.

Created with earth and brokenness, concrete is a heavy blend of fragmented stones, water, clay, and other particles of matter. In its hardened state, it functions as a sturdy foundation for buildings and a reliable surface for travel.

As I think about concrete’s relevance, I reflect on how attached I am to small details. This past week, I stumbled over countless minor features that didn’t emerge how I hoped:

I was going to wake up early and set aside ample time for prayer, perspective, and a real breakfast. Yet, I often didn’t get out of bed until I had just enough time to prepare for the day. I also scrambled to have my hair blow dried and trimmed, and I scrolled through countless Pinterest pictures of gorgeous box braids. Although I anticipated having a similarly compliment-worthy hairstyle, my braider ended up cancelling the appointment. To add to the mix, the discovery of my shrunken blue jeans that I purchased just last year frustrated me to no end.

The list goes on. 

With my permission, minor and non life-threatening matters negatively altered my attitude. Whenever I didn’t wake up early enough, for instance, I scolded myself for failing to cultivate what could become a rewarding and important habit. The details, whether major or minor, controllable or uncontrollable, that didn’t work out seemed endless. They became stones that I threw at myself rather than stones that I used for something constructive.

I want the stones and particles that comprise my life’s matter, or in other words, the details, to be purposeful and functional. Whether the details are satisfying, annoying, seemingly nonsensical, or plain rough, I want to allow myself to feel their impact, but to also move beyond, blending them into a foundation on which I can build, and move forward.


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