Tuesday, February 15, 2005

To Do Lists and My Grandfather

Yesterday, I wrote about something Nana taught me. Today, it is my grandfather's turn.
I call my grandfather Daddy Monk. He is a preacher.

Whenever Daddy Monk was going to come over to our house, we prepared for his arrival by writing a to-do list. We called it a "Monk-y Do" list, just to amuse ourselves. The list consisted of little jobs: hanging mini-blinds, fixing a leaky faucet, repairing a screen door, and the like. I would often tag along as Daddy Monk ticked off the jobs on the list, helping him whenever I could. We did one job at a time, from making sure we had the right tool for the job to replacing the tool in the box, before moving on to the next. I remember how satisfied he was at the completion of each job, and the sense of accomplishment that came with the completion of the list itself. We had a list for him each time he came; it seems that there is always work to do. He might have completed six or eight jobs in one visit, but there always seemed to be six or eight more the next time. Daddy Monk always accepted that. And he always did the jobs that needed doing.
Standing in the garage watching him wipe clean the blade of a saw we had just been using, he said to me, "Andy, the job's not done until the tools are cleaned and put away." In his own workshop at his home, his tools are hung carefully from pegboards that feature an outline of the tool drawn to indicate the proper placement for his hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and other tools. Each tool is clean and in its place, ready to tackle the next Monky-do list.

Daddy Monk taught me that there is order amidst the chaos. There is an intricate choreography to life's dance. Electrons will always attract protons and repel other electrons. The 27 bones in each of our hands always tend to line up in a particular order. Each of Daddy Monk's tools has a place to hang and a job to do. The order is what makes the whole work.
He also taught me that there is a lot of work to do, so make a list. Don't get overwhelmed, just do one job at a time, make sure that you have the right tool for the job, and don't forget to take care of the tool for the next time you will need it.
That sounds like pretty good advice for the church, too!
Grace and Peace,
Andy B.


iamnettie said...

What a great story. Sounds like you your Grandpa has made a lasting mark on you, and that is wonderful. It is soo great when people can make a lasting mark that is so positive. Have a great week (it is 1/2 over!!) :)

Aunt Lucy said...

Wow, that's a lesson worth hearing over and over again. Oh, that we could all do that as well as he does!