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 it was his time; he needed to retire.
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, reluctantly said yes. In time it showed 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 and the contractor came to inspect the house, he stopped at the front-door and handed the key to the craftsman. "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 home, he would have done it differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built at subpar levels.
Sometimes 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 ourselves and find that we are living in a house we have built.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build it wisely.
We only have one life to build. Build and live it graciously and with dignity.
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. Look beyond the moment.
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