There is something very therapeutic in my world about a problem that has a tangible solution. Like something with a real result that can be seen, measured, and hopefully celebrated when it's done.
For the last month, I've been "escaping my day job" to do a home remodel project any "non work day" I could find and even some evenings too. After a lot of hard work with some faithful friends, some 30 days later, I finished it.
What was "it"?
"It" was ripping out all the carpet out of our house, having the concrete floors on our first level refinished, installing hardwood floors all the way up the stairs, down the hall, and into the bedrooms, replacing all the door casings and base boards, redoing two sets of desks and the hall closet and finally...that much is done.
While finishing the floor job with a long time friend, Kyle Cummins, my wife asked us if we were having fun.
We both said... "yeah... are you kidding me, this is like therapy."
- the job doesn't talk back.
- simple hard work and some creativity solves most problems.
- progress is tangible and evident almost immediately.
- you know clearly what you're trying to fix and you know when to stop.
- the project has a start and an end that are both tangible and measurable.
- pleasing people is always tempting, but an impossible task.
- hard work and creativity does not necessarily produce a measurable result.
- progress is slow, at times seems totally absent, and is often evident only years down the road.
- very rarely is the problem you're trying to help a student solve the actual real problem: there's always something deeper that must be dealt with first.
- there is no stopping if your goal is helping someone connect with God.
- even if you call a freshmen year the start date and senior year the end date, there is no start or stop because for every student that graduates, here comes a whole new class of freshmen that require a completely fresh start again.
Don't get me wrong, we both love students and our jobs and even the challenges they bring. But if you're going to remain sane in this uphill battle we call student ministries, sometimes, you need to escape to a job that feeds your desire for real, radical, and even instant transformation.
Here's some pics of the transformation of my house and the removal of the sin we call carpet. If only student ministry progress was this clear and could be completed in 30 days or less.
The before of the stairs and the floor below
The after of the stairs
Jake and Billy's bedroom:
TJ and Tyler's room