My wife and I had just moved into our first home. It wasn’t big … but it was ours!
That first Saturday, I got up early in the morning and prepared to do yard work. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how strangely excited I was to mow the lawn, trim a tree in the back yard, cut back the shrubs, and weed the flower bed. In fact, I don’t know if I ever again looked forward to yard work, but that Saturday I was thrilled to be working in MY yard.
The next weekend, Kathy and I did some work inside the home. We had picked out paint colors and we had purchased some wall paper. Now we got to turn our new home into OUR home. Late Saturday afternoon after a full day of painting and wallpapering we discovered some horrible news. As we got to the 2nd corner of the room we were wallpapering, we noticed that our pattern wasn't lining up correctly.
We stepped off the ladder, backed away from the wall, and looked at our work from a different angle. But … there was no way around it … our wallpaper job wasn’t turning out the way we had hoped.
Have you ever been half-way through a wallpaper job and discovered, in the corner, that it wasn't working out like you had hope?
Have you ever been half-way through a life and found yourself saying, this hasn’t turned out like I hoped it would?
I’ve found that life rarely turns out the way I planned. Some of the greatest things I’ve hoped for haven’t come to fruition. Sometimes life just seems unfair.
There are many potential reasons why our wallpaper pattern wasn’t working like we had planned. It may have been that we didn’t start the first roll with a perfect plum line. It may have been that the walls themselves weren’t perfectly square to begin with. There may have been a defect with the wallpaper. Of course, the work probably didn’t turn out perfectly because my wife and I were rookie wallpaper hangers.
Whatever the case, we looked at the wall together at our half done project and had to make a decision. Would we rip down the workthat we had already completed and start over? Would we stop all together and bring in an expert to finish the work? Or, would we deal with the hand we were dealt and move forward together to complete the job at hand.
Thankfully … we pressed on and finished the job together the best we could.
You want to know something?
When the job was finished, no one else but the two of us would ever notice the faults in the wallpaper job. The mismatch was much less of an issue than we made it out to be. Kathy and I found it funny that our revelation in the 2nd corner of the room, halfway through a wallpaper project, was really not that big of a deal.
The lesson we learned that day is one we carry with us to this day. We’re discovering that the big, glaring problems we find in our lives are really not as overwhelming as we think they are. We’ve learned to step back up to the wall together and “lay out the next roll of paper”.
We have discovered hope by not remaining paralyzed by fear or disappointment. Instead, we try to choose to stay engaged and work at the problem together.
Really … life doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed, does it?