Thursday, August 09, 2007

Replace Me

Mere moments ago, I finished sanding and staining our dining room floor. Of course, I’ve never claimed to be the poster child for do-it-yourself projects but I’ve become pretty good at most everything that I’ve attempted over the last few years. Painting our house, stripping and refinishing our deck, laying carpet in our front porch and as of this year, even taking apart our central A/C unit to work on it (I know, I was impressed too!).

What I’m getting at is I was pretty confident that I could refinish our small dining room with ease. Our home was built in 1942 and has hardwoods mainly throughout - neglected, stained and much in need of some help. There are carpet remnants over most every area and for good reason. So today, I started simple, in the smallest room in need of refinishing. Since it was a small room and looked, to my eyes, in pretty good shape, I decided not to rent a large floor sander. )After all, I knew that I could do it with my power hand sander and save me at least $50.) So I proceeded to get on my hands and knees and fill my house with dust within minutes. The small areas of carpet adhesive sure were more stubborn than I had thought they’d be, causing me to go through sandpaper like nobody’s business. After an hour or so,I assumed that would surely be good enough, I thought. I vacuumed all of the dust up, wiped the floor clean to get any remaining dirt, etc. and I was headed for the stain! This was the only part of the process I was remotely interested in anyway!

I applied the stain, a little concerned as I went as I realized that it was hiding absolutely NONE of the blemishes and color variances. So I complete the room, stand back, take a look at my work and say, something along the lines of, “Wow, that sure looks horrible.” After cleaning up, I went back and looked at it again… I chuckled and shook my head. I sighed and thanked the Lord that I, at that very moment, realized that I am no longer a perfectionist. Is it better? Sure, by far. Is it as good as it could have been if I had rented the professional sander, been tedious and tended to every detail? Not even close. What I’m saying is what the Lord challenged me with. Too many times I attempt a quick clean up to “hide the blemishes” – thinking that no one will notice, that I may not notice. The fact is, they’re right there for all to see and most importantly, for my Heavenly Father to see. The truth is, if I had truly been desiring the outcome of the floor to be perfect, I would have tended to it so much more.

God won’t be satisfied with simply sanding all of the imperfections out or painting over the old. He wants to pull it all up and lay new wood! Wood that’s from a tree called Life… abundant life, life that flows from a Cross, a Sacrifice. I can no longer hide any hold stains, blemishes or impurities – it’s time to turn loose of these old boards and be renewed, restored and replaced.

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