Have you ever begun a project with the idea that this will be simple and you’ll knock it out fairly quickly. I have an entire library of examples where I thought this and it didn’t work out.
Judy and I were newly married and had invited some friends for dinner. I was going to cook out on our new Bar-B-Q pit… a big metal “dish” on legs that you fill with charcoal, it gets very hot and you toss on the burgers. It was a couple of hours before our guests were to arrive and I said, “hey, I guess I’ll put together that new grill”. When I unpacked the box and saw about a thousand screws, I knew I was in trouble. They arrived as I was grilling with just the “dish” sitting on our outside fire escape, exclaiming that I had no idea how difficult it was to put a grill together.
Well, fast forward thru a myriad of projects, Christmas gift assemblies on Christmas eve, refinishing furniture…. after 51 years of marriage, you would think I should have learned my lessons…. think again.
The latest example has to do with our garage. My son Jon and his boys did a great job of renovating our garage… cleaning it out, power washing and painting the walls and floor, organizing …it looks great. Well, my “ wood working shop” has been given some space in the “new garage”. I’ve sorted my tools. I was given a new storage bench for Father’s Day and a special movable stand for my table saw. So I thought I’d throw together that stand for my saw…how hard could it be? Hey, I’ll be generous and allow 2 or 3 hours to put it all together… there was some assembling and measuring and cutting of wood. Well, I just finished and I think I put in at least 10 (maybe 15) hours of work… and that’s not counting my trip to the psychiatrist and the cost of the straight jacket. As I was keeping Judy up to date on this saga, she would say “did you pray…did you ask St. Joseph to help you”…….”boy, oh boy, oh boy …do I really need to pray for such a simple project? Okay, I’ll pray. St. Joseph and I really deepened our relationship. After awhile I was begging for help…” St. Joseph, you have to help me.. this is not working…I cut the wood wrong… the stand is not square…it won’t fit…the bolts don’t line up…okay, I’ll cut some new wood….auuuugh.”
Well, I did a lot of praying thru this project. I even got some good fellowship by inviting my friend Paul over to get advice…”he chuckled…you’re right the stand is not square…chuckle, chuckle…”
Okay, let’s bring this BLOG to a conclusion… did I learn anything …. did I advance the kingdom of God in any way? The only thing I can say is that I persevered to the end…I finished the project and I did pray a lot… so, I guess that’s a good thing. (see picture above…. it’s the wood stand supporting another stand, supporting the saw)
And here’s some advice from the “ole woodworker”…. the next time you have a project, spend some serious time in prayer before you begin and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Maybe the help will be in reminding you to do some careful planning, perhaps encouraging you to invite a friend to assist you, or perhaps suggesting that you don’t do the project.
Even Jesus reminds us to count the cost before we begin a new endeavor. “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'(Luke 14:29)”
Boy, that was a close call….