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The Smallest Detail Can Derail the Greatest Home Project

Ed, my neighbor next door, saw that both my wife and I were stressed last week. We were white and grim with resolve to complete three, long-overdue, basement projects. Measure twice cut once should guarantee success but is never foolproof for me. We had a small wall to frame and cover with drywall. There was also an opened-mouth, large closet that needed filling with doors, and a considerable amount of quarter-round trim that needed to be added to finish the floors in a couple of rooms. Ed knows I love to garden, cut lawn and trim hedges, but that I approach home renovations with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner on death row. Hand eye co-ordination has always been pretty poor for me and cutting things straightly, a failing grade.

A regular handyman would have had all our three jobs done in a day or two. I had a feeling it could takes us a couple of years, but I didn’t say so, as my wife was already taking Tylenol after the first hour. My neighbor believes some of us folks are pretty useless at carpentry, and I think he is right in my case. It is hard for Ed to have patience towards those who lack building skills when he finds it easy to construct things. What is a labor of love for one person is a labor of distress for another person. Some folks seem to be good at everything while, others are relieved to be average at anything. Ed could tell when we finished our projects last week because we went from white in stress to normal again. I happily dug a row of potatoes with no stress at all. Overdue projects humble a person because a small detail like measuring exactly correct can derail hopes of ever getting the work done.

We tend to put off jobs that we do not enjoy, sometimes for years. In the Bible, it speaks of how when it comes to God we may let our relationship slide into a neutral state. We may be content to leave things undone, and perhaps we are not really hot or cold about doing what needs to be done. If we really hated or were ice cold or frozen about the jobs to be completed in our basement, we would have paid someone to do them for us. If we were hot or enthusiastic about the projects, we would have made sure they got done. For several years, we were lukewarm to the jobs keeping things in limbo stuck without action and incomplete. Jesus speaks of standing at the door of our hearts and knocking, but he won’t bust down the door, he waits for us to open the door, and then he will come in. Many let Jesus knock without either saying coldly, “No thanks go away,” or saying hotly, “Please come in and be with me.”

When we are neither cold nor hot, God warns he is about to spit us out because we are lukewarm. God is to be our first love (Alpha) and our last love (Omega). Our love for God is centered in Jesus Christ, the Living One; who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

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Raymond Maher
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