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 a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work the employer
came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to
"This is your house," he said, "my
gift to you."
The carpenter was shocked! What a shame!
If he had only known he was building his own
house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day
at a time, often putting less than our best into the building.
Then with a shock we realize we have to live in the house
we have built. If we could do it over, we'd do it much differently.
But we cannot go back.
You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer
a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. "Life is a do-it-yourself
project," someone has said. Your attitudes and the choices
you make today, build the "house" you live in tomorrow.