C'mon, it will be fun! The famous last words that are uttered before any new endeavor. We use them all the time.
To our 6 year old: “Let’s ride that roller coaster. It will be fun.”
To our wife: “Let’s take that 10 mile hike on vacation. It will be fun.”
To our friends: “It’s only 95 degrees out. Let’s go golfing. It will be fun.”
Sometimes we are right. And sometimes, we are way off. Most of us have stories of both.
In January of this year, my wife and I decided, along with my son and daughter-in-law, to try our hand at flipping a house. After all, how hard could it be? You buy it cheap. You fix it up. You sell it. Sure it will be work. But let’s do it . . . it will be fun! It has now been 5 months and like most things, we were right – mostly.
The process of stripping a house down to the bare bones, of enduring the dirt, dust, insects, rodents and nasty things you don’t want to touch without rubber gloves and a face mask was illuminating.
Having to design new systems and rooms to take advantage of limited space was an exercise in creative engineering.
There was the drudgery of working at the house week after week, with seemingly little progress. There was the joy of suddenly seeing things come together just like we planned. There was the frustration of the unexpected, the unseen things that complicated almost every little job. There was the satisfaction of seeing a difficult part of the job turn out well. And through all of it, the enjoyment of working to accomplish a task alongside people you love.
We are at the end of the process, and people keep asking if we are going to do it again. Honestly, I don’t know. I want to finish this one well, and then take a look back and evaluate.
Regardless of what we do, I am left thinking how much this process of flipping a house reflects life. There are frustrations and excitement. Joys and disappointments. A sense of accomplishment and sometimes just plain old fatigue. We learn new things and practice old skills. We teach and learn from each other and enjoy doing life together. We accomplish tasks and enjoy moments. What makes it worth while is not simply achieving the end goal, but being fully immersed in the process.
I believe that is what Jesus meant when he said that he is working in us to act according to his good pleasure. He is never finished with us. He is always working. He is building something amazing. And all he asks is for us to cooperate with him and enjoy the process. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes not. It will always be worth it.
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