A Carpenter’s Story
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. He thought he could get by.
The employer was sorry to see his good worker leave and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work anymore. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.
When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the employer handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized it, we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life that you will ever build. Even if you live in it for only one day, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”
Who could say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.
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