On Saturday, I got to work with my hands and help build a house for Habitat for Humanity with a crew from my church (epic church). If you have never done a build, I encourage you to give it a try if they are anywhere around your community. A more fulfilling endeavor will be hard to find, trust me. I’ve now done three, and I can assure you that taking a look at the progress at the end of the day is an amazing experience.
I’m going to take a paragraph here to dispel the myth that I am an amazingly altruistic, selfless person who always puts others first and spends all of her free time doing for others. Maybe you didn’t think that anyway. But if you’ve read my other posts, you may be inclined to believe that all I do is fight human trafficking, go on mission trips, mold young minds, and build homes for people. I wish that were accurate, but I must be honest in telling you that I really just don’t feel like posting the bad stuff about myself, though I assure you that I am a selfish jerk more often than I’d like to admit. It’s just that most of the people who read my posts don’t know me, so I thought maybe I could fool you, but it just didn’t feel right. I am trying, and I want to always be a better person. Does that count?
Anyway… I was just thinking about how amazing it is to be able to see the progress made in building a house. When we arrived, only a slab existed on the property. In a few hours, the frames of the exterior walls were all up and we were nailing on the exterior plywood. Some worked faster than others, but we all worked hard. By the end of the day’s work, that slab had complete exterior walls, and I got to help. Awesome!
In my usual job, I’m constantly building, but I usually cannot see my progress. Building minds and building houses seem so different. But maybe they really aren’t. Sure, I don’t always see the results in teaching (and it would be so much more rewarding if I always could), but I work just as hard at either. Sweat, labor, and determination go into both, though in teaching the sweat may be more symbolic. And the pain and exhaustion feel about the same. My muscles ache; I slam my thumb with a hammer; I get dirty. You get the point. One is physical while the other is mental and emotional, but at the end of the day, I’ve been a part of building something that will last. I can continue this analogy, or I can just make my real point now, which is that sometimes it’s just nice to see a tangible result from hard labor.