What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. – James 4:14b
It was in 1982 that Ruth and I moved from Germantown (on the west side of Philadelphia) to Lancaster County. Through a set of God-ordained circumstances we came to live at the house in which we still live: a truly great 18th century stone house located about a mile from Park City Mall. When we bought the house it was a wreck. I almost immediately replaced 16 panes of broken or missing glass, used 69 tubes of caulk to seal things up and repainted the house, inside and out, using approximately 100 gallons of paint. Later came added closets, bathrooms, new roof, new electrical wiring, remodeling the third floor, etc. The wood floor in what we call the family room was in terrible condition so around the time that Sarah was born we had it completely carpeted.
Now, after these many years, we have ripped up that carpeting, redone the bathroom (that is off the family room), redone the ceiling and, this past week, sanded the fir floor in preparation for its refinishing. Long ago I learned that polyurethane varnish works great on hardwood floors but works poorly on softwood floors. As the softwood can give, and polyurethane finishes very hard, putting polyurethane on softwood can result in it pealing or chipping. Pure tung oil is the better option. Yes, it is VERY expensive (around $100/gallon), but it is a finish that works great and lasts a long time. So I bit the bullet and bought a gallon of tung oil to put on the family room floor.
The first coat of tung oil was quickly absorbed into the wood. The next day I applied a second coat (using up the tung oil). This time less was absorbed. I could have gotten by with just two coats but then I got to thinking about us being in that house. We've been there for 36 years. There is a good possibility that we will literally DIE in that house. To put a third coat on would require me purchasing another gallon of tung oil. That's another hundred bucks! But if I were to ever do it, now is the time. So I bought the extra gallon and put on a third coat. All in all, the floor now looks great.
This approach to redoing a floor is the same approach that we need to take in preparing for eternity. In life we can (as with the floor with 2 coats of tung oil) just slide by…slide through…doing the minimum. Or we can go the extra mile and give it our all.
Are you taking that approach to eternity? Are you giving your spiritual life your best…are you laying up treasures in heaven? Will you die rich or poor before God? Keep eternity in perspective all the time.
In future years, every time I will look at our family room floor I will be glad I bought that extra gallon and applied that third coat of tung oil. What a shame it would be for all eternity to look back on this life with regrets that we were spiritually lazy, doing the minimum to just get by, when all the time we could have done a much better job.