One day I had a visitor--a carpenter. I called him earlier in the week and arranged for him to stop by and do some work around my house. When he got to my house that day, it was early in the morning and the sun was just rising over the horizon. The darkness of night was giving way to the breaking of the dawn. An awareness of the new day was introduced into the consciousness of a world awaking from slumber. This man, unknown to most, had shown up to worked in the dawn of this new day. He was a builder, a fixer and maker of things. I watched this man as he entered my house, and I noticed a few things about him. I guess what struck me most was the fact that he didn't seem to be in a hurry. He took his time he was slow and deliberate in the way that he move and carried himself. After the introduction I show him around and what needed to be done. And to my amazement he sat down at my kitchen table and begin to drink the coffee he had brought in with him. With each sip he began to process all that he had seen and had been told. Taking in and assessing what had been asked of him to do. He evaluated what resources were available to him and defined what the desired outcome was to be.
His eyes, his mind, and his past experiences were the first tools used. He did not make an attempt to start without fully understanding what was being asked of him. He did not hurry, he was not rushed. I noticed in that instance how important that first step was: in pausing and evaluating he ensured that his time, energy, and effort were not wasted, but would be utilized in the most efficient and productive manner. He did not rush. As he sat there I watched his face I could see the many expressions that accompanied his thoughts. I could almost hear the questions being explored in his mind. Ideas were being analyzed, and solutions were found and in that moment of time. All the unseen possibilities played out in the arena of the carpenter's mind.
"Measure twice and cut once" I heard my mind say. How much wood and labor did it cost to come up with that phrase? I thought. But this guy-- he was something. With paper and pen in his hand he calculated the risks before they became costly.
As I turned my attention back to my guest as he was finishing up his coffee. "I am ready now to begin". And begin he did. He was creative and not afraid of a little hard work. He worked like his reputation was at stake, with his heart, his hands, and his very soul. Later that day, when the project gloriously completed, I thank him and paid him for his serves and he walked out the door.
And I thought to myself about the Carpenter's Way. "Don't hurry, don't rush. Sit down and take the time to think about it and then begin. Then work with in confidence with all your body, heart, mind and soul."