Building Your House
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor 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 & 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, his employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said, "This is your house... my gift to you."
The carpenter was shocked!
What a shame! 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.
But, you cannot go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Someone once said, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will live in tomorrow. Therefore, Build wisely!
Power of Choice
Fr. Norbert Weber
"The power of choice is real.
We can . . .
Choose to love--rather than hate.
Choose to smile--rather than frown.
Choose to build--rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere--rather than quit.
Choose to praise--rather than gossip.
Choose to heal--rather than wound.
Choose to give--rather than grasp.
Choose to act--rather than delay.
Choose to pray--rather than despair.
Choose to forgive--rather than curse.
Each day brings a new opportunity to choose.
What kind of choices will you make today?"
3-Minutes A Day, # 23
FriendsOne day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.
I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?
He must really be a nerd."
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon),
so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I
saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses,
I said, "Those guys are jerks. "
He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"
There was a big smile on his face.
It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me,
so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.
I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.
We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.
I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.
I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday! He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.
When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.
He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.
He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.
He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.
I could see that he was nervous about his speech.
So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.
"Thanks," he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.
"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.
Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...
I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story."
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met.
He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
"Thankfully, I was saved.
My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.
Not until that moment did I realize its depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions.
With one small gesture you can change a person's life.
For better or for worse.
God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.
"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
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