There are some tasks I do that my wife Kathy finds perplexing. OK, maybe that just makes me normal. In her eyes I often take the long route in doing something, instead of a more efficient, quicker, easier, and likely less messy route to my goal. There is some truth to that.
I have nothing against efficiency. In fact, I love finding new ways to get things done not just faster, but better. However, I find there are some tasks I value more highly than just attaining the goal itself. Sometimes it’s all about the journey getting there, whether simple or complex. A few examples:
Coffee roasting at home has been a weekly project this past year, and I’m loving it. Yes, it is a bit messy at times, but I love the scent of the steam rising from the roasting beans and the challenge to get the roast timed to be “just right.” It’s a learning process with plenty of trial and error, which is why I do my roasting in the garage with the door open so I don’t set off the smoke alarm… again. Thankfully we are enjoying some pretty good coffee, and I will even gift some to friends.
Part of my desire to learn comes from a yearning to be less dependent for things I take for granted… like food. My folks used to grow beans, strawberries, and rhubarb… and I thought it might be wise to get a clue on how to do it myself. The past couple of years I have become a “junior gardener” growing tomatoes, onions, salad greens, blueberries, and summer squash. It’s a lot easier (and maybe even cheaper) to buy it, but there is a special thrill that comes with “enjoying the fruit of your labor.”
I love the scent of sautéed onions. Stir some chopped bell peppers and fresh mushrooms and it’s the start of 17 different things to eat. Not as efficient as heating up veggies in the microwave, but for me the experience and end result are satisfying.
Since I have my dad’s DNA, it’s not surprising I often will take things apart in hopes of a successful repair. My latest DIY project was our dryer, which was making somewhat Armageddon-like sounds that demanded my attention. Kathy thought I would just take a peek inside to see what the trouble was; she was in minor shock when I had 83% of it spread out in pieces. I had to “go deep” to find the issue, which I did. For $30 in parts and sheet metal inflicted wounds, I had it running quieter than our already super quiet dishwasher. Ah, success!
And no, I didn’t actually try roasting coffee in my dryer… but, thanks for reading this far.
The process brings it’s own rewards. If I can learn to do something well enough, perhaps I can teach someone else how to do it. Sometimes the reward is learning patience and tenacity… not giving up too soon. It may cost a lot more time than the conventional route, and it may also delay having to buy a new dryer.
Don’t miss out of the blessing of the process. No, it’s not always enjoyable, but that is the laboratory of life we walk in. God’s desire for us is to grow in character a little closer like Him.
Trust me… character is not something you can microwave.