I am not a do-it-yourselfer. Whenever some project comes along that requires tape measuring, hammering, screwing, leveling or any other tool-related activity, I let my husband take the lead. Well, truthfully, I let him do it all. I usually have to leave the area because my impatient and irritable nature can hardly stand the set-backs and slow, careful work. He always does a beautiful job. When I do embark on some project, I take short-cuts and the quality of my work reflects them. Afterward, they bother me… remind me of this flaw in my nature. Fortunately, the older I get, the more patient I become.
This week, I decided to start a project and I wanted to do it myself. It required disassembling shelving, pulling an absurd number of plastic wall anchors out of drywall, patching holes, painting, removing doors and assembling furniture from Target (pretty sure Lamentations was written as a direct response to “assembly required.” ***). But I did it! It isn’t perfect, but five years ago, I don’t think I’d have had the patience or drive.
Surveying my work, I felt very proud of myself indeed. It was a small personal victory. Now, though, I’m feeling reflective. The “I took a shortcut and I’m dissatisfied with the results” problem is not exclusive to do-it-yourself projects. It applies to every area of our lives. From parenting to preparing a meal, when we don’t commit to making our best effort, we suffer both the practical and psychological consequences. And to fulfill our potential we have to invite God in. If he created us, then we would in a literal sense be nothing without him. And if he has the power to form the universe, to create humanity in all of its staggering beauty and diversity, then I could ask for no better help.
When I said, “I’m not a do-it-yourselfer” earlier, it was an admission of laziness. I want to be able to use that expression in an entirely different way; to change it to mean that I’ve committed to working hard… with God’s help. My hunch is that learning to recognize his guidance and accept his help, will require some demolition. I will have to expose and acknowledge my flaws and ask him to fill those holes I haven’t patched, to smooth over the rough edges. In short, I want God to redecorate my soul. 🙂
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Colossians 1:29 – For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
*** Post-publication Edit: I’m leaving that quip about “assembly required,” but I couldn’t help but feel like a terribly spoiled thing after re-reading it. I apologize if it seemed like I was making light of the very real pain and suffering in the world.