I’m convinced pride is the root cause of home improvement project disasters.
Think about it.
When you’ve recognized something needs fixing, building, restoring, or improving- you call and get a shockingly large estimate for the expert to do the job. It’s the safe, easy solution. But you talk to a couple of friends who instill a false sense of confidence in you, and watch 8 YouTube videos that show you how to do the job yourself in 4 simple steps. Suddenly, these words mistakenly roll off your tongue: “I can do this”.
So when I started to build a Murphy bed in our guest room, I had a picture in my head of what the bed should look like.
However, after two weeks of work, the reality of the Murphy bed – well – I have a long way to go. I figured I would be done by now. My GOAL was to be done in one week.
Though I envisioned smooth sailing in the building of my Murphy bed, reality was different. Reality included plenty of setbacks. After a week of work, I realized I had taken on a significant project with an instant gratification mindset. The wood needed cutting, sanding, joining, painting, fixing. The bed frame needed sorting, building, adjusting, connecting….then it all needed to be assembled and attached to the wall. This project requires……patience.
In his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, Eugene Peterson said,
“Everyone is in a hurry. The persons whom I lead in worship, among whom I counsel, visit, pray, preach, and teach, want shortcuts. They want me to help them fill out the form that will get them instant credit (in Eternity). They are impatient for results…the Christian life cannot mature under such conditions and in such ways.”
When you picture a woodworker- you likely picture someone older – mature and patient, with rough, rugged hands. Someone who’s been at this for a long time and pursues the completion of a project in the midst of setbacks. In our Christian life, we all want to mature, but as Peterson said, we cannot be impatient.
It’s why faith is foundational to our Christian life. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
That’s the start of the epic chapter about faith in Hebrews, reminding us of the stories of the Heroes of Faith. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab – so many that Paul says he doesn’t have enough time to talk about others he then lists off.
After reminding us about great stories of faith, the baton is handed to you and me:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinds and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12: 1-2
That race is well described as a long obedience in the same direction. It’s not the sprint that the world creates to pull your attention away from Jesus.
You never picture a woodworker rushing a project – nor do you picture that wise, mature Christ follower rushing things in life. They always seem to have time for God, and time for others.
Let’s do the same.