Out with the Old, In with the New
When we moved into our 1926 Sears Kit house, the kitchen was in dire need of an overhaul. Well, the time finally came! I should have been rejoicing, right?
Well, SORT OF! When we moved into that house, the teeny, tiny kitchen had very old cabinets that were made of cheap lumber. They were ugly, the doors and drawers stuck and the whole thing was pretty much an eyesore. A few months after moving in, I painted the cabinets. That was a dramatic, although merely cosmetic improvement. Peel up the paint and you would still find the same cruddy wood, poor design, and misfit doors. It was still an ugly thing with some attractive "make-up" slapped on it. Not the kind of change that would really improve the value of our home (and make it more pleasant to live in!)
Of course, anything worth having usually comes at great expense - whether financially, emotionally, mentally or physically (or some combination of those.) A couple of years after we bought the house, it was time for a kitchen upgrade and we hired a craftsman to create beautiful new hickory cabinets. After the initial excitement and anticipation, it didn't take long before I grew very irritable, impatient and edgy. I was sorely disappointed with my response to this convenience. However, the whole process taught me some very worthwhile lessons.
My daily routine had been disrupted by having the cabinet craftsman in the house pounding, prying, cutting, sanding, nailing and drilling. You get the picture. The old kitchen drawers were stacked up one on top of the other in the dining room and much of what we needed to function from day to day in the kitchen was temporarily located in the basement (at the bottom of some very narrow, rickety old stairs.)
So, the question was - would the end result be worth the pain, suffering and expense?
That's the question I frequently ask when my soul, spirit and life are being hammered, drilled, sawed - and I feel like my insides are being ripped out like the old cabinets that were moved outside to adorn the backyard while waiting to be removed to the dump.
Although my gut reaction and natural tendencies during this kind of renovation process are to be irritable and grumpy, I am able to CHOOSE a different response by reminding myself of the ultimate outcome. By focusing on the end result, it makes the entire improvement process more bearable, and dare I say it - even enjoyable!
It's a perfect analogy to my life when I submit it to the hands of The Master Craftsman. What I gave Him originally was an ugly, malfunctioning, misfit life. Through His grace and tenderness, He wants to create an artistic masterpiece in me. The end result can be a totally transformed person - from the foundation up. I can continue to just be an old kitchen cabinet with some paint slapped on it - OR I can allow Him to remake me into the thing of beauty that only He could envision and then bring to pass.
You know, it would have been very convenient to take a 6 month vacation during that time... leaving before the kitchen work started and returning to a new shining, completed work of art. Yes, that sounds pretty good - at first. But, having gone through the day in and day out of the process and being a participant in the transformation, I can honestly say that I appreciated that kitchen that much more!
So when you enter into a new phase of "renovation" in your life, don't retreat or fight against it. Become a participant and choose your responses carefully by focusing on The Master Craftsman, trusting that His vision for you will exceed anything you could possibly ask or imagine!