Several months ago my sister began begging me to come up from Temecula in SoCal to Redding in NoCal to paint her house. Well, I delayed it, having a lot of our own projects. Sibling love finally won, and I blended in three days of fishing at Rock and Hat Creeks, both on the way. Their house had a nice wow factor, except for the painting. Blah tones of tan and brown and yes, a purplish hue on some.
The plan: fish my brains out for three days, power wash and paint the place. A week for the work part, and head home. But Robert Burns was correct about our best laid plans going belly up. The wood wasn’t just blah but dried and cracked and sometimes missing. We worked for two whole days on the prep, and a total of two weeks overall on the painting.
All this reinforced a lesson learned from my dad, a professional painter. Do it right.
1. Do It Right the First Time. Much work would have been saved if the builders had done it right, by caulking all the seams and putting more paint on the wood, instead of the proverbial blow and go with a spray gun. But the water seeped in to rot the wood and the hot Redding sun dried it out the wood, and we caught it just in time.
2. Fix It Right. Bushes had to be cut back for access. All that bad wood had to be repaired. Four tubes of caulking filled the seams, three pounds of nails secured the boards, protruding nails were pounded back in, and 30 gallons of premium paint found their way onto the wood.
Now, I can head home and my sister and brother-in-law have a new house. Well, it LOOKS like new. ;)
So, what’s the spiritual lesson? Honestly, I wondered if the builders were faithful followers of Jesus. I pondered a verse repeatedly as I fixed their mistakes and shortcuts, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). Whenever we act, we in fact serve Jesus. That haunts me.
Whatever we do encompasses quite a bit. Obviously, our jobs at work, at home. How we build or paint. How we drive (I really wanted to leave this one out, but God wouldn’t let me). Our conversations. You can complete the list.
How do we serve Jesus in all we do? The phrase “with all your heart” goes deeper than I thought. The original word is “psuche,” from which we get psyche, or psychology. It’s translated into soul, life, mind, heart. Again, quite encompassing. One definition says it’s the seat of our feelings and affections. Or, the core of our being.
When we gladly and willingly do our best in all we do, we truly serve Jesus, who will reward us. If we do this. If we don’t, we miss his reward. Important stuff.
Kick Starting the Application
What do you tend to do regretfully, or partially? How did these two verses impact you on that? How can you change? Think of one area where you do OK with this, how can you improve? And, think of a time when you did this when difficult. How did you benefit?