Build­ing A Life

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An elderly car­pen­ter was ready to retire, and he told his boss of his plans to leave and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the pay­check, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The con­trac­tor was sorry to see such a good worker go, and he asked the car­pen­ter to build just one more house as a per­sonal fa­vor.

The car­pen­ter said yes, but it was easy to see that his heart wasn’t 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 the car­pen­ter. “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 of your life. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Your at­ti­tudes and the choices you make today build your “house” for tomorrow. Build wisely! ■

If you feel that you have made mis­takes, taken wrong turns, even failed mis­er­ably at this or that, you’re in good com­pany. Many of God’s he­roes in the Bi­ble did those same things, but they learned from their mis­takes. And God came to them, sit­ting in the midst of failed dreams or dis­ap­pointed hopes, and gave them a new rea­son to live. That’s what He can do when we give up on our own plans and projects and de­cide to try His. He gives us goals to help us grow and move in the right di­rec­tion, and then He helps us at­tain them. Give Him your heart and life, and let Him give you all the good things He has planned for you. The New Year is a great time to make a new start. — Nana Wil­liams

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