The Builder


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-
contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a
more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He
would miss the pay cheque, but he needed to retire. They could get

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he
could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter
said yes, but in 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 his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder 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.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building
his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to
live in the home he had built none too well.

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather
than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we
do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the
situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house
we have built. If we had realized, we would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your house. Each day
you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is
the only life you will ever build. Even if you live it for only one day
more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity. The
plaque on the wall says, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Who could
say it more clearly? Your life today is the result of your attitudes
and choices in the past. Your life tomorrow will be the result of
your attitudes and the choices you make today.

What kind of builder do you want to be for your own life?

Leave a Reply

3 responses to “The Builder”

  1. Deeply touching indeed.This should be included in School syllabus at some stage.

Speak Your Mind


Share via
Copy link