Monday Morning Inspiration . . .

Something To Think About . . .

Give us, O give us, the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he is equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time — he will do it better, he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music.

— Thomas Carlyle

The Carpenter’s House
Author Unknown

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 front-door 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.” Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitudes and the choices you make today.

Consider this: What are you building today that you will be living in tomorrow?

Monday Morning Inspiration . . .

WHEN YOU’RE IN THE CEMENT MIXER

Did you ever have a day like this? A man, cleaning one of those big cement trucks, got caught in the mixer. He climbed into the back of the truck with a hose to flush out remaining cement when his hose caught on a lever and pulled it to the “on” position. Suddenly, he found himself going round and round in the mixer with no way to escape. Slipping, sliding and banging around inside, all he could do was shout for help.

Fortunately, another worker came over and shut it off. In moments a bruised man, covered with wet concrete, emerged from the mixer. It reminds me of some days I’ve had. You know what I mean.

If you ever feel as if you are being knocked about by life, think about the amazing bird called the Water Ouzel. I can’t imagine this water bird knows what it is to have a bad day. The little creature is often found living next to violent waterfalls and fast-rushing rivers. And however threatening the weather, however cold the water, in snow and rain and even blazing summer sun, the tough and cheerful Water Ouzel can be heard chirping and singing. What’s more, while the voices of most song-birds, however melodious in warm weather, fall silent over long winter months, the hearty Water Ouzel sings on through all seasons and every kind of storm. I have to wonder: does this little creature know something I don’t?

It’s as if the bird knows that every violent storm will eventually give way to sunshine; every dark night will finally fade into dawn. And isn’t it true? Even our bleakest and stormiest times do not last forever. Like the poor man buffeted about in the cement mixer, there is almost always an end to the turmoil.

As the incredible humanitarian novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, until it seems as if you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time when the tide will turn.” I have had that experience more times than I can remember.

Maybe this is one of those days you feel as if you are in the cement mixer. If so, do you need to hold on a little longer?

By Steve Goodier
Life Support System

Consider this: When you are in the cement mixer, remember the Water Ouzel.