We’re in bank holiday season, which traditionally is the time for us to get down to our local DIY store and then, heroically, pretend to be carpenters, plumbers, painters and decorators. For me, DIY is a pastime associated with trauma and minor injuries, made worse by living in a house that is nearly 200 years old and makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look structurally sound.
However, even in these moments of frustration, it’s possible to reflect on one’s relationship with God. And three things spring to mind. The first is that it’s good to persevere. The Bible says “I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. It’s easy to lose heart, to get distracted, to take the easy way out or to settle for a bodged job, but we’re encouraged to keep going on regardless of the toughness of the task. And whilst I’ll get frustrated with myself when my DIY skills fail me, God is patient, loving and forgives when we ask.
The second is that sometimes we need help. I have strong memories of trying to build boats out of balsa wood in my dad’s garage, but in particular I remember getting stroppy when my Dad tried to help. I wanted to do it myself, even if the boat sank. The Bible says “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. We love and crave independence, and sometimes that’s a good thing (my Dad was proud to see me leave home for university), but an independence that excludes God is an independence that may never build things in the way He intended.
And the third lesson? Every time I use a spirit level on my house and compare that with the wonky angles on each wall, floor and ceiling, I’m reminded that the foolish man builds his house upon the sand.