A Carpenters 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
frontier 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 that 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
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."

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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