Getting Back on the Ladder…

Did you ever spend your money on something only to realize you now owned complete junk? That happened to me. Over Thanksgiving weekend, we purchased some new outdoor Christmas lighting. Nothing too tacky; just a couple red and green spotlights, some walkway candy canes, and some clear lights to line our roof. Roof lights can be the easiest or the most time consuming lights to put up. They are the easiest if you put up a few hooks and hang your lights like Garland to look nice. They can take quite a while if you want them to be evenly spaced, straight, and clipped in a certain direction. You can guess what the Burke family party committee preferred. Not wishing to upset the committee, I bought a case (not a box) of lights, and a few hundred clips.

What a disaster. The old school clear glass bulbs we bought at Lowes were more fragile than Serena Williams’ temper. The bulbs broke, a fuse popped and could not be removed due to a defective cord, and the three hours spent clipping them all up was eclipsed by the 60 seconds it took me to rip them down and bring them back in the house. The problem was not bad efforts or bad planning; we just had only junk to work with. I didn’t want to get back on the ladder again.

Well, we returned the shoddy materials to Lowes, purchased more durable (and energy efficient) LED lights, and put them all back up the next day. It was a great family time to be honest. I stood on the ladder, my wife fed the strands of lights to me, my son verbally encouraged the effort, and each bulb was clipped evenly on the roof… all 525 of them! After regrouping, putting in some time to start over, and working hard, our house looks great!

Psalm 127:1reads, “Unless the Lord build the house, those who build it labor in vain.” That can be a tough verse to swallow. Sometimes we spend our time working hard on things God never intended us to do. Ministries allocate major resources to projects with no real lasting significance. Life can be like that. Sometimes we do a lot of work and try our best and frankly it isn’t good enough, period. As in our case, sometimes the very materials we have to work with are just no good.

I will be honest: the last thing I felt like doing after standing on a ladder all afternoon was start over; I did not want to get back on the ladder. But, I did. Maybe you need to start over, maybe you don’t. Maybe you feel like a lot of stuff in your life is probably a waste of time and maybe you don’t. Whatever your situation, there is still a new day, a fresh breath, and an eternal God. Seek out Jesus Christ and you’ll find what you need. For me, I work so much harder when I keep in mind what God has created me to do. In fact, nothing I am really working for is about me at all. It is about Jesus. Thanks to Him taking the time to give me a redo, I’m no longer shoddy materials. Knowing that I am not working for nothing gets me back on the ladder again.

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