It’s been a busy weekend.
Pretty much all of yesterday and all of this morning were taken up with putting wallpaper up in the room that we began wallpapering last weekend. We also had to go out and buy extra materials and, once the wallpapering was finished, put up a new curtain rail and curtains. Then there was a fair bit of cleaning up and tidying to do.
The good news is that, apart from a bit of touching up here and there, the room is more or less done.
When I was a kid, my dad was a DIY (or, for my American readers, home improvement) expert. He would build wardrobes, kitchen units, fitted bookshelves, fancy cabin beds with desks and storage underneath them – you name it, he could make it. Tiling, plumbing, painting, wallpapering, nothing was too difficult.
Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit the DIY gene, and I have to admit that I’ve felt somewhat inadequate because of this ever since. I tend to shy away from taking on any major home improvement tasks because I feel I lack the competence to do them properly. And I guess because, at some level, the mere thought of this kind of job stirs up feelings of inadequacy, of not being good enough.
I wonder how many of the difficult emotions we struggle with and the situations that scare us, worry us or otherwise make us feel uncomfortable later in life can be tracked back to childhood relationships and events. I suspect the answer is quite a lot. Certainly, without too much effort I can think of other sensitive areas in my own life that have some kind of link back to childhood. And this isn’t because I had an especially tough childhood or bad parents – neither of those is true. I guess it’s just a fact of life that we are shaped, for good or ill, by our experiences and emotions during our formative years.
All of which to say, I feel a sense of relief at having finished decorating this room. I’d like to say that I feel a touch of deserved pride as well – I did it! – except that somewhere deep inside, another voice tells me that someone else would have done a better job. I need to learn not to listen to that voice.
We missed church this morning in order to finish the decorating. There was a time not so long ago that I would have felt some kind of guilt about that. At the very least, I would have felt that I shouldn’t be doing it and mustn’t do it again. I’m thankful that I no longer have those feelings. I’m learning not to let so many things be accompanied by an unwarranted and ultimately soul-destroying sense of duty.
Finally, this evening I’ll be meeting up with two church friends to discuss theology over a pint of beer. This will be our second such meeting. We’re working our way through Tom Wright’s Simply Jesus. Friendship, God and beer – what a great combination!
Whatever you’re doing with your Sunday evening, I pray it may involve rest and restoration.