A Flawed Life Is A Good Life


A Flawed Life Is A Good Life

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The sun begins to set over the budding spring trees and darkness settles on our backyard project.  Mom turns on the headlights of her car so Dad can see what he’s doing.  I pull my car in as well and shine my lights to illuminate the freshly laid pavers on the newly formed fire pit.

Mom and Dad spent the past few days digging, measuring, arguing, and sweating over the construction of my new fire pit in the backyard of my home so my family could enjoy summer nights roasting marshmallows and creating family memories.  Like most projects, my parents worked long, hard hours to ensure the project was completed.  This time was no different as sweat dripped off Dad’s nose and onto the brick pavers while he maneuvered the last few in place.

“Well, it looks like we have a small problem.” Dad announces.  The final space left is too small to put in a regular paver and too big to put in one of the smaller ones.  I watch as Dad tries several options and finally shakes his head in defeat.  “Let’s put in one of the irregular pavers and then we can fill in sand around it to make sure it remains secure.”  Dad recommends and then carefully places the final paver into the slot and surrounds it with concrete sand to make sure the paver is in place.

I hear the frogs in our pond singing to us as the night completely engulfs the landscape and we begin cleaning up our mess.  Dad points out the flaws of the project as we inspect it.  Mom mentions how the pavers were not an exact match so she mixed them up to create a random design.  Dad shows me where part of the pit slopes down and is not perfectly level.

“No project is perfect, but it’s done and it looks great!” He grins and then continues to load the car as he prepares to head home.  Once the car is loaded and he is satisfied he packed up all his tools, he approaches me with a smile as he looks at the final brick paver.  “That little paver there is a reminder that nothing fits perfectly, but that’s okay, because nothing in life fits perfectly, does it?”  I’m so glad that my parents have modeled that principle for me over the years, that life is certainly not perfect, but if you view it as a whole, it is quite beautiful.

A few days later, my kids huddle around the roaring fire in the newly minted fire pit courtesy of Grandma and Papa Rheam.  They roast marshmallows and giggle with joy as they throw in more wood for the fire to consume.  My eyes catch the irregular brick nestled in the mosaic of pavers that were carefully arranged by Mom and Dad a few days earlier.  A project that had its flaws, indeed, but my kids never notice.  All that I can see is their beautiful smiles, I can hear the purity in their laughter and the opportunity to create a perfect memory that was created by a less than perfect project.

Life is not perfect, get over it and start living it! Like each paver my dad carefully placed to form the fire pit, each of your days should be carefully placed to form your life. What is that imperfect slot you are trying to fill with that perfect piece before you can move on with your life?  Here’s a clue, it doesn’t exist, so stop looking for it and go with what you have and you will find that in the end, life is beautiful all the same, just like you!  By they way, can you spot the irregular brick in the above picture?

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2 comments

  1. Excellent article and great metaphor Erick. Now let’s address the real issue with this scenario. How dare you not make SMORE’S for your children with Grandma and Papa Rheam’s new fire pit? Roasted marshmallows, yes. Plus graham cracker and Hershey chocolate bars. Two squares of chocolate on half graham cracker with a single toasty brownish warm gooey marshmallow, then capped with the other half of the graham cracker. Let the memories continue…

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    1. Nicely put, Gary! We didn’t do smore’s, but we did bake waffle cones on the fire filled with marshmallows and Hershey kisses. We have a grill that attaches on the fire ring and slides over the fire. We wrapped the waffle cones, filled with all that goodness, in aluminum foil and baked them over the fire. My wife is a regular Martha Stuart on that kind of stuff!

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