The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life.
C.S. Lewis

The shock tactics of terrorist groups makes for disturbing yet gripping television. I viewed an uncomfortable documentary in which an entire city, in the middle of the desert, was completely demolished in order to ‘smoke out’ any supporters of a resistance group. This act was likened to a ‘scorched earth policy’. This policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy. It would include the destruction of food stocks, property, transportation, communication networks and anything that can sustain life in a region. The film showed the debris of a previously thriving and life-sustaining economy. The inhabitants of this town were relegated to the fringes and now housed in refugee tents. There were no schools, jobs or daily conversation corners – just pure survival. What would it take for this place to be reborn?

I viewed another type of demolition along the Durban beachfront. Locals watched as an old entertainment centre was decimated to make way for a new string of eateries and cafes in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Piles of concrete, wire, sand and stone were loaded onto waiting trucks and moved to an unknown destination. Interestingly, the bricks were neatly piled for possible reuse. Other sections that kept this building firm and rooted were being pulled out from the very place of its inception. Perhaps, sometimes for something new to be born and created everything needs to be rooted out and cleaned away? A different kind of ‘scorched earth’ that leads to rebirth?

What about our lives? How do we let go of the old and secure that is now dead and gone? There may be layers of material that needs to be discarded so that new foundations can be rebuilt. Yes, there may be things to preserve for reuse but how much of the old is required for the next season . How many of us are willing to clean out everything so that something new may be born? My experience with patients has shown me that those that succumb to this process often have no choice but to surrender to the re-birthing process. The results of rebuilding one’s life often brings unimaginable benefits . Yet, most of us struggle to embrace the new and unseen.

So what can help us scorch certain aspects of our lives to the ground so that something new and better can take its place? The answer may lie in looking at the Vision Boards that display the new beach buildings waiting to rise from the dirt and house the welcoming laughter of international patrons. The new design shows the close replica of what can be expected. It is certainly more inspiring than the existing collection of drab relics.

What area of your life needs a new Godly vision? A vision is usually a preview of an expected future. In therapy we sometimes encourage patients to design vision boards. These boards provide insightful clues about the experiences patients deeply desire. Once a vision is revealed, the path often opens up…


  1. What aspects of your life need to be scorched and reborn?
  2. Are you holding onto the tired yet safe?
  3. What would you place on your vision board?

Written by Dr Rani Samuel
Clinical Psychologist