These days, books promise easy and quick solutions to almost everything. Whether it’s a stain on your shirt or a marriage on the verge of collapse, it seems life’s problems can be corrected in just three easy steps. But in truth, our lives benefit from deep, lasting growth when we make changes slowly.
At the time the Golden Gate Bridge was built in the 1930s, its designers believed their construction could withstand any magnitude earthquake. But the bridge lies just a few miles from the infamous San Andreas fault, making it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes. As a crucial transportation hub for the San Francisco area, it was decided several sections of the bridge needed to undergo a “seismic retrofit.”
There was only one problem. The bridge had to remain strong, usable, and as safe as possible against earthquakes until the retrofit was complete. To insure that, a “two rivet rule” was applied. This meant no more than two rivets at a time could be removed. If an earthquake were to strike and too many rivets were out of place, the bridge’s entire web of steel could collapse.
Something similar to the “two rivet” rule can be a helpful principle for life as well. Change, by nature, creates instability. When you’re able to limit the amount of change you take on at any one time, the instability can be controlled. But when you alter too many areas of your life at once, problems can rapidly overwhelm you.
True, life is unpredictable, and unexpected circumstances can befall us without warning. In those times, it’s only God’s grace and the support of family and friends that sustain us until we regain our strength. But much of the havoc we face in life is our own doing. The key, then, is to stay open to adjustments and opportunities, but, whenever possible, only change a few things in life at a time.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:5 AMP