“Do Your Best” is the motto of Cub Scouts. It is a good motto for all to follow. Take a moment to read this little story. As the new year begins, let’s reflect on what kind of house we have built and see if we need to remodel in 2010.
The Carpenter’s Story
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. 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 contractor 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.
And so it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, re-acting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best efforts. 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, we would have done it differently.
Think of yourself as the carpenter, and your life is your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely! It is the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.
The plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.”
This is the so true, isn’t it?
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.