I write mostly about life and how my view of life is shaped and molded by my religious perspective. Today I am going to us the future of my home town Edmonton as a symbolic representation of how our spiritual lives need investment to grow into the people I hope we all want to become.
This is a city set for greatness. I have lived in this city for over 30 years and I am proud to call it home. We are in the midst of a facelift that will change the look of this city for decades to come. It is expected in the next 25 years the population of Edmonton will double to about 1.6 million people and over 2 million in the region. Edmonton last year was projected to be the fastest growing city in Canada. We are a rapidly growing city and I am proud to say that we have taken the time to invest in our city.
The new NHL Arena is a key component of the city’s long-term plan and is one of 2 major projects currently underway in our city. Check out this video of the planned development of Edmonton Arena district redevelopment
For the 500 million we have invested in a new NHL arena there has been 3 billion in development for the district via private business that has begun or will begin construction in the next 6 months. The city has already begun to see 6 times the return on its investment and it is just beginning.
As the city grows infrastructure growth is needed as well to accommodate the demand, along with the arena project the city continues its investment in LRT expansion with plans to open 15 plus stations in the next 5 years adding 2 new lines and 20+ kilometers of track. A much-needed investment for the future sustainability of our city. There are currently 2 LRT Lines under construction in our city the biggest expansion currently working towards completion is the new Valley Line going from the south-east of the city to downtown Edmonton.
Given this is a religious blog you might wonder how all this ties into my faith in God and my religion. When thinking about the investment and infrastructure that is changing the face of our city we can use this as an analogy for our own lives.
For many years our downtown core has been neglected and fallen into disrepair and becoming a place no one wants to be. It has become a place one wants to avoid at night as it has become home to drug addicts, prostitutes, gangs and other forms of evil and vile practices and lifestyles. Downtown Edmonton has been in a state of decay for decades. I do not have a memory of a time in my life where I ever had the desire to go downtown for anything other than work or convenience during business hours. Our lives can be much like this if we are not careful in where we choose to place our priorities. Our souls can be much like the heart or core of a city in that if we neglect to care for our souls they to can fall in to ill repair and become a place of spiritual decay and filled with sin and ugliness.
When we look at our lives, are we investing sufficiently into the core our being, our souls and spirit? Are we sacrificing in the short-term to gain in the long-term our eternal perspective? Can we step back and look at the bigger picture with a short-term investment in our spirituality? Like the new NHL arena we are investing in, it may seem like a lot now to ensure continued growth in our heart and soul. By investing now we can be assured that the blessings of heaven will be poured out without measure. Like the billions in additional private investment and infrastructure we are seeing in our downtown core we too can receive for an investment in our own personal religious life blessings or “investments” from heavenly sources without measure that will far surpass the amount of time and effort we put into our lives now.
But it takes much more than a one time investment which may stimulate development in our personal spiritual well-being to sustain that long-term. Edmonton’s downtown core can not be sustained long-term if we simply stopped at building a new NHL arena and left it at that. We certainly will see benefit for a time, but this will not be permanent. This is where the LRT comes in. The city will be opening a new LRT station on the north side of the arena with a pedway connecting it to the LRT train station. This along with the Valley Line shown in the video earlier is an essential part of sustaining the growth and continued development. The LRT connects the rest of the city to the heart of our new down town Arena District.
The LRT acts like the spiritual link reaching out to the rest of our lives always giving us a connection to the heart and soul of our being. Without that critical spiritual infrastructure we too will eventually deteriorate like our city has for many years, despite the investment in our spiritual core.
Our city like a soul is growing rapidly and only through smart, well thought out investment in our spiritual selves can we hope to attain the necessary vibrancy to become a holy and righteous person, just as a city needs continued and renewed investment to continue its long term growth and overall health and well-being.
And that is the Gospel According to Andrew.