The Carpenter

A carpenter was ready to retire.  He told his employer, a building contractor, of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life.  His employer was sorry to see him go, but asked if he could build just one more house as a person favor.  The carpenter said yes, but it was easy to see his heart was not in his work.  He had lost his enthusiasm and direction, resulting in shabby workmanship and using inferior materials.  A shameful way to end ones career.

When the house was finished, his boss came to inspect the new house.  After doing so, he reached out and placed the key to the front door into his friend’s hand.  “This is your house.” He said.  “My gift to you for your service and loyalty over the years.”  What a shock…what a shame… if only he had known.  How often we echo these same words… “If only I had known.  I would have done it so differently.”

So it is with us; we build our lives often in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting in given situations.  Content at times to settle for the easier wrong in place of the harder right, then one day, in shock, we look at the situation we have created, and find we are now living in a house we built for ourselves none too well.

…This is the only life you have to build.  Build it with character and integrity as you pursue your education, career and the families you will one day have.  Build it with compassion and forgiveness… Your life now is the result of attitudes and choices made in the past; your tomorrow’s success, peace and happiness will be determined by the commitments you make today… never jeopardize your character or compromise your integrity.

…The most important person we must account to is that person looking back in the mirror.