Life isn’t always about hitting your goals and finishing projects. God designed us to have moments and experiences throughout our life that impact us and make a difference in others. I was reminded of this fact on Friday as I worked on our renovation project. There was a pile (a large pile) of debris that needed to be loaded and hauled to the dump. It was time to get it out and I was ready to load and haul.
I took our 4-year-old out with me. He loves outside, breaking things, and generally needs to be active whenever possible. This was a perfect project for him to help me with. As it worked out, there were enough small pieces for him to throw in the truck that we worked side-by-side for about 45 minutes. The truck was completely loaded full by the end. And of course, I forgot to get a picture.
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I could have accomplished this loading in about 25 minutes if I had worked alone. I wouldn’t have had to get a stepstool for Nate to reach the truck, or checked his pile for spiders, or re-positioned several of his entries to fit in the manner I needed them to. I had to wait several times for him to pass by or finish throwing his piece in before I could move my debris.
The extra 20 minutes would have frustrated me just a few years ago. I am very task and goal oriented, meaning I’m ready to put my head down and get to work as fast as possible. My dad gave me some great advice when my boys were getting older. He told me to let him help me with projects around the house. He said it would take me longer and be a bit frustrating but that the reward would be worth it. He was right. I try to let my sons help me on projects, teach them how to do things and about the tools and equipment being used or worked on. The reward is great to have them by my side and I know they value the experience as much (or more) than I do.
It isn’t a great picture, but here is the load after I emptied the truck at the dump.
You may not have children or a big renovation project. But you can enjoy the process and gain from it in addition to the final outcome. Don’t be so task oriented that you miss the benefits you gain from going through the task. Pick your head up and look around to see what you is around you during the process. It could be a pleasant conversation at the gas pump with the guy next to you. There are experiences, conversations, encounters, and teaching opportunities all around you. Enjoy the process instead of just looking to the outcome.