An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-builder of his plan to retire from the building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife. The builder was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but in time 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. But instead of getting inside the house, the builder handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
What a shock! And what a shame! If the carpenter had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the house that he had built in poor quality.
So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way – reacting rather than acting. 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, we would have done it differently. Think of yourself as the carpenter, your life as 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 more day, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and choices you make today.
Life is a do-it-yourself project.