335 | Construction Permit

June 15, 2014
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
Letter #335: Construction Permit


Dear Family,

Have you ever thought about taking a carpentry class? Have you considered getting certified in basic carpentry skills such as OSHA standard regulations for safety, blueprint reading, rigging and load-handling, and construction math? It sounds interesting, right? Sounds interesting to me, too, on a conversational level—let’s do dinner, and you tell me all about your construction job.

I’ve had many such conversations with people throughout the construction industry, from office managers to blueprint manufacturers, and architects to heavy crane operators. I’ve learned a lot from those conversations, developing a healthy appreciation for an industry I’m not too familiar with. And I’m sure that, unless you’ve made construction your career choice, you may not be all that familiar with its ins and outs either.

Now, suppose the following scenario happened to you: one day, you receive a certified letter telling you that you’ve been enrolled for the next semester at the local community college. You’ll be attending, starting immediately, taking a construction course. You are puzzled, I see. Ahh, I get it: you say you never signed up for the class, and you never even requested information on it. There must be some mistake, you say? Nope. See you in class.

Cost? Nah, don’t worry about that, since you received a full scholarship. No excuse then, right? I’m sure you’re curious to know how this class will fit in with all your other courses, your job, and your busy life. No worries. The class is just Monday through Friday, 7:00–10:00 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Convenient, right? Go ahead, picture fitting this into your current schedule. I’m sure you could move a few things around. It’s only for the next four months … you didn’t have any plans for the summer, did you?

I know what you’re thinking, and trust me, I had the same reaction as you: I never asked for this, I never wanted this, I’d rather not do this, I don’t have time for this, and I’m just not going to do this.

Well, I had the same reaction EXCEPT for the last comment, because I know better than to refuse to take this course. Did I mention that it is court-ordered? Yep, you shouldn’t have been speeding. This is the new Traffic School, so you’re gonna attend, like it or not. Every day, six hours, for four months.

The little rebellious streak in you just asked, in your head, “Or what?” You don’t think you have the time for this awesome course? Well, if you refuse to go, starting Monday, you’ll be fined. If you aren’t in class by Monday afternoon, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest, which can be set aside by paying another fine. But if you still aren’t in class by Tuesday morning, expect to have everything you own confiscated, and you will do a mandatory 30-day jail term. Now let’s see if THAT little fact motivates you to make time for some construction in your busy schedule.

So, when I received the slip of paper letting me know I’d been placed in the construction vocational training course, I just smiled, thanking God for the opportunity to learn whatever He had in mind, even if the classroom just developed my character.

I trust that God knows more about what I need most than I do. And the timing couldn’t be better for me, with all four classes I teach in between semesters. I’ll get to start the next semester of classes after the construction course ends.

In the meantime, to avoid an extra 30 days in prison, I’m picking up every tool to success handed to me—in this case, a hammer—and I’m gonna nail it.