From the Tattooed Minister

I appreciate my days off because they are few….

I took an extra shift yesterday and painted the walls in the loading dock of my building. But as engineers, there were other chores for us. First, there was a steam leak we needed to fix.
So….we shut the valves, broke the pipe at its union, and then we backed out the necessary fittings to replace the leaking parts.
We removed the elbow, then a short length of pipe. Next, we backed out the long length, removed the other elbow, and cleaned the threats.

Moving forward, we dressed the threads in Teflon tape, and joint compound. Then we replaced the necessary fittings, tightened them, and re-opened the steam.
We took the job in steps, because this I how jobs are done.

As a boy, The Old Man taught me how to do jigsaw puzzles.
He watched me struggle and then asked, “Do you mind if I give you a suggestion?”
He told me, “Start with the border.”
He said, “Find all the pieces with the straight edges and begin by linking them together.”
And it worked.
Next, The Old Man said, “After you finished the border, then start with one area. Finish that one area, and then move onto the next.”
This worked too.

……Even if a man moves forward in a slow pace,
he still moves forward, and faster than a man quickly moving in different directions…..

After we finished the steam leak, we gathered the supplies, and then we went to the loading dock.
Our job was to paint the lower half of the walls.
The color is called battleship gray. This is an oil-based paint, so the job can be messy. This is where the drop cloths come in.
I hate painting……but overtime is overtime, so I had no choice

One of the building’s porters was on the job with us as well. He started in the back area near the adjoining entrance to the neighboring dock, and then he moved around by the rear wall, across from the electric panel.
The porter moved fast. He moved quickly, going back and forth.
He painted one section, but then he moved to another, and then back to where he began.
I, however, moved slower, but yet I covered more area.

I called him over and suggested, “Finish one spot first.”
He began to defend himself by saying, “I have to go back and….”
But I interrupted, “No, you have to finish one section first before you can move on to the next.”
I pointed, “See where you are?”
Then I pointed to my section and told him, “You started before me and look where I am.”
I explained, “You move faster than I do, but I covered more ground.”
I told him, “You used more energy, but I got more done….understand?”

We tend to get overwhelmed at the start of any job. Cutting corners is not always an option, and even when it is; cutting corners does not always help.

Same as a tree grows; even a flower opens in stages.
Same as this happens for a reason; there is also a reason why directions come with steps….

A girl I knew took home a computer table. The front of the box read, “Easy to assemble,” and written in bold lettering on the back it said, “15 minute assembly.”
She also took home a coffee table, which was not as simple, and since we were dating at the time, this meant I had no choice but to help her

After putting the coffee table together, the girl came in from the other room.
She asked for more help.
“I figured how hard could it be? The box said 15 minutes.”
And the box was right….
But it took me 45 minutes to undo what she did before I could put the piece together.

Whether it is putting together furniture, a jigsaw puzzle, or painting a wall; start in one area, and then move onto the next.
That’s how jobs get done.

Right now I have my own tasks.
I have to take them in steps. Otherwise, I waste my energy.
I have to finish one piece at a time; otherwise, I get angry
I become frustrated, as if there were no end in sight, and I become irritable.

With regards to my projects, I have to paint one section at a time, so to speak.
Then I can move onto the next.
I know how it feels to be overwhelmed with the process.
But this is where faith comes in.

Even if only in ourselves, faith is what helps us move forward.
If I believe in the steps I take and I complete them, then I can move onto the next.
If I am unsure, or if I allow myself to be overwhelmed, then I will be like my friend the porter, and all I will do is move quickly without going anywhere.

The Son of Man asked Joseph of Arimethea, “What is the heart of the Lord?”
Joseph answered, “Here, O’ Israel, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.”
“You said well,” replied The Son of Man. “You are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven.”

If I have faith and if I follow direction and move forward in the stages that are given to me, then there will never be a reason for me to backpedal.

As I write to you on this Sunday morning, I sip the last of my coffee, and I prepare myself for the things I need to do
…..with faith, or course
… step at a time
Enjoy your morning, folks

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