As a new academic year gets underway, I want to share with the students an outstanding parable entitled the Carpenter's Tale.
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 and 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 shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built - wishing that f we could do it all over.
But, you cannot go back. To all my students, please, please, please remember, that YOU are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the "house" you will have to live in tomorrow. Therefore, it would behoove you to build wisely.
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