Work’s been super slow for a couple weeks. Last week I worked just over ten hours, and so far this week I’ve only worked for about three hours. It’s been a little frustrating not having the work (or the money), so I started looking for a part-time job yesterday. I couldn’t find anything, so on a whim I decided to see what options there were for full-time jobs in Peoria. Bingo! There were several that I’m either qualified for, or will train new employees.
If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s been that it’s unwise to rush into something without lots of prayer and thought. So I decided to go walking on a bike trail near my house and pray/think about whether I should try to get a new job, or keep working for Fedi.
There’s something about beautiful weather and crisp, clean air that aids thought. I felt a calm while I was walking (and running, a little bit), and I realized that what I choose to do for a career isn’t what matters – it’s times when I can enjoy God’s creation, get to know Him better, spend quality time with people, and be a blessing: it’s times like those that matter.
I also decided that I haven’t given the Hungarian Handyman enough time – sure, I’m not making any money right now, but it doesn’t really hurt me too much since I’m living with my folks. Instead of focussing on my problem of not having work, I can find other things to do. My cello has been neglected a bit lately – I can catch up on practice. I started Oakey back into riding training last week – I can continue that.
So, for now, I’m sticking it out. If anything, this is another opportunity to practice patience.
The other day my Boss misquoted the adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” – instead saying “Where there’s a way, there’s a will.” I chuckled to myself, but then began thinking; why does there have to be a will present for a person to complete a difficult (maybe seemingly impossible) task?
Over the past week I’ve been working on stripping 6+ layers of paint off of an intricately designed doorframe. I’ve been told by several people that there’s no way I could get every last bit of paint off. I’ve been told to just get as much off as I could, and leave the rest. But my Boss hasn’t told me to stop yet, so I haven’t.
In this case, I know that there’s a way to get all the paint off the doorframe (since Fedi says so), so I’ve decided that I’ll keep stripping paint until it’s all gone. This is a perfect example of “where there’s a way, there’s a will” because if it weren’t for Fedi’s confidence that I can get every last bit of paint off, I wouldn’t have the drive to keep trying. But because I know there’s a way, I have the will to finish.
Today marked the official end of my first month of work for the Hungarian Handyman!
Here’s an excellent post from The Art of Manliness blog.
The Gains of Drudgery
From The Making of Manhood, 1894
By William James Dawson
By drudgery, I mean work that in itself is not pleasant, that has no immediate effect in stimulating our best powers, and that only remotely serves the purpose of our general advancement. Such a definition may not be perfect, but it expresses with reasonable accuracy what we usually understand by the term.
Now, if this is what we mean by drudgery, it is clear that we are all drudges. We all have to do many things, day by day, which we would rather not do. Even in the callings that seem to present the most perfect correspondence between gifts and work, such as those of the writer or the artist, drudgery dogs the heels of all progress…We show some perception of these facts in our common sayings, that easy writing makes hard reading, and what costs a man little is usually worth little. But few of us have any adequate sense of the immense toil which lies behind the brilliant successes of the great artist or famous writer. And the same thing might be said of the lives of great statesmen, politicians, reformers, merchants, and memorable men in all walks of life. Examine such lives, and the amount of prolonged toil which lies behind all the glitter of public fame is enormous, and to the indolent even appalling. If any man of the Elizabethan period gives the impression of having achieved great things with a certain airy ease and instinctive facility of touch, it is Walter Raleigh. Yet it was of Raleigh that Elizabeth said, “he could toil terribly.” The same thing may be said of every great man, so that it is small wonder that we have learned to believe that genius itself is simply an infinite capacity for taking pains.
When a man grumbles about the drudgery of his lot, then I am entitled to conclude that he has not learned the discipline of work, and that it is native indolence rather than suppressed genius which chafes against the limitations of his environment. Browning, in his poem of The Statue and the Bust, has laid down the doctrine that it is a man’s wisdom to contend to the uttermost even for the meanest prize that may be within his reach, because by such strenuous contention manhood grows, and by the lack of it manhood decays.
The clerk who does not strive to be the best clerk in the office, the carpenter who is not emulous of being the best carpenter in the workshop, is not likely to achieve excellence in any other pursuit for which he imagines his superior talents better fitted….I have little faith in the youth who is always crying out against his condition, and telling an incredulous world what great things he could do if his lot were different. The boast of general talents for everything usually resolves itself into particular talents for nothing. The incompetent clerk, in nine cases out of ten, would be equally incompetent as writer, artist, or speaker. If I were adjured to help a youth to some sphere supposed to be better suited to his gifts, I should first of all need to be convinced that he had performed faithfully the duties of the inferior sphere in which he found himself. The superior talent always shows itself in the superior performance of inferior duties. It is the man who is faithful in little things to whom there is given authority over larger things. He who has never learned the art of drudgery is never likely to acquire the faculty of great and memorable work, since the greater a man is, the greater is his power of drudgery.
But the gains of drudgery are not seen only in the solid successes of life, but in their effect upon the man himself. Let me take in illustration a not infrequent case. Suppose a man gives up his youth to the struggle for some coveted degree, some honour or award of the scholarly life. It is very possible that when he obtains that for which he has struggled, he may find that the joy of possession is not so great as the joy of the strife. It is part of the discipline of life that we should be educated by disillusion; we press onward to some shining summit, only to find that it is but a bastion thrown out by a greater mountain, which we did not see, and that the real summit lies far beyond us still. But are we the worse for the struggle? No; we are manifestly the better, for by whatever illusion we have been led onward, it is at least clear that without the illusion we should not have stood as high as we do. So a man may either fail or succeed in gaining the prize which he covets; but he cannot help being the gainer in himself. He has not attained, but he has fitted himself for attaining. It is better to fail in achieving a great thing than to succeed in achieving a little one, and the struggle that fails is, in any case, to be preferred to the stolidity which never aspires. And why? Because the struggle is sure to develop certain great and noble qualities in ourselves. Thus, though such a man may not gain the prize he sought, he has gained a command over his chance desires, a discipline of thought, a power of patient application, a steadiness of will and purpose, which will stand him in good stead throughout whatever toils his life may know in the hidden years which lie before it. And even if he gain the prize he sought, the real prize is found not in a degree, a certificate, a brief taste of applause on a commemoration day, but in the deeper strength of soul, the wider range of wisdom, which the long discipline of unflagging effort has taught him. So true is this, that Lessing, who was among the wisest of thinkers, said, that if he had to choose between the attainment of truth and the search for truth, he would prefer the latter. The true gain is always in the struggle, not the prize. What we become must always rank as a far higher question than what we get.
A co-worker and I were talking the other day, sharing facts about ourselves and getting to know each other better. He told me about his two kids and girl-friend, then jokingly told me that I shouldn’t get married any time soon; that I should wait until I’m much older. I replied that I actually want much to get married – a lot. He chuckled, then asked, “so what would make an 18-year-old like yourself want to get married so young?” I was kind of taken back, and simply answered that I just had always wanted to get married. But after some more thought I determined why exactly – children.
I see children as a huge blessing from God; a blessing that many folks either skip out on, or delay for years so they can… well, I don’t know exactly what… experience the adventures of life, maybe? But that’s not the way I want to do it. I want to experience the adventures of life (and children, last time I checked, are an adventure in and of themselves) with my wife while we are still young and have enough energy for a bunch of “little Tylers” (as Mom would put it).
Sure there are other reasons I want to get married, but I’d have to say that children is my biggest reason.
In my last post I talked about being afraid to move forward in my life – but I’ve had a realization since then (I do a lot of thinking when I’m at work). I may need to eventually be somewhere (e.g. teaching music) but that may not be where I’m supposed to be right now. Right now the Lord has me doing construction. It may not be my absolute most favorite job and I may never make something of it, but it’s where the Lord has me.
So, right now I’m learning to be patient. I’m also learning how to interact with people who are nothing like me, and have absolutely no similar interests. But most importantly, I’m learning how to rest in the Lord and rely on what He knows is best for me.
I officially have a job! And one that could very well take me into my forties or older if I wanted it to, at that. This morning I started working for the “Hungarian Handyman” – a local home remodeler/fencer/barn builder/handyman named Fedi Davidovics.