An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer 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 employer 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 employer came to inspect the house and 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 thejob 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, we would have done it differently.
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