If We Build It…

It has been a very exhausting few weeks. I can honestly say that I have a problem: I’m a workaholic. It could be that I am an addict in the stage of denial (sarcasm), or it could be that I just love to use my acquired skills to create, provide and see the finished product. I just love to use the hands that God gave me. I take pride in my work, and I am very blessed to be mobile (enough) in order to do what I do.

For the past few weeks, I have been doing a project at our home. Not to get into detail, but the project consisted of a lot of manual labor and intricate work using my hands. It has not only been a test of trial and error, but also a very demanding job when it comes to physical strength and patience. Having a short run of days off from my usual place of employment due to the holidays, and with the weekends in between, I had taken advantage of many hours within them to complete the tasks.

They paid off! Yay! I’m finally finished.

It’s nice to stand and remember every grueling moment it took to do each part of the whole. I took on many things I had never done before, and I did it alone (along with some related knowledge I’ve obtained over the years and a little advice from the pros). My family and I can now enjoy the finished product.

But really, I have had times of complete exhaustion — both physically and mentally — during the project. It had even worn me down to points where I felt like a freak of some kind: slight hallucinations, weird thoughts and volatile emotions, as well as pains in my body I had never experienced before. Also, I wasn’t sleeping well. I would sometimes only sleep for three hours at night, and I already know what inadequate sleep can do to you both physically and mentally. Also, I had a low-grade fever for a few of those days. Overall, it was more of a nightmare than it was a pleasure!

An exhausted mind and body really make for difficult times!

But, the nightmare had a beautiful end result.

As I was driving the other day, I was looking back on the past few weeks and all of the ups and downs it contained. I compared the project to life itself: constant contrasts in trials and victories, physical and psychological complexities as we journey through, learning how to be patient, accepting what is and seeing — in hindsight — all it took to reach a destination. Really embracing all of it. As we chug along through our lives, we will always go through the ups and downs, but we always have our small victories. We just have to enjoy them when they appear. Another thing that really made me incredibly thankful for all I had gone through with this project, as I reflected back and looked at the finished product, was the victory I have in Christ. One of these days, I will be in a paradise, and I will no longer have all of these human experiences that have me all over the place. I will have something that far exceeds the little piece of paradise built with the hands.

It’s nice to enjoy the little project that now brings us some pleasure. My wife is very happy, which is always good. The body and mind will someday again be devastated, but it will heal. There will definitely be more trying times ahead, but there will also be bliss. That’s just life. And, for the believer, there will someday be a flawless paradise.

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