An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.
The contractor 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 over 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 a dedicated career.
When the carpenter finished his work and his employer came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”
The carpenter was shocked! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built.
If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.