Lego bricks ruled my childhood games. As far as I was concerned, it was 'the game' and everything else was simply second fiddle. Lego harnessed the amazing power of the imagination, and my bricks turned into Vikings and villains, pirates and soldiers. Anything could happen, and probably did. But there was one thing you could always rely onâeach brick fitting perfectly into each other.
The Lego brand has been built on quality and perfection, which started at the grassroots level as a family business. Once, in the early stages of the business, the father found out one of his sons had decided to use only two coats of paint on an outgoing shipment. It saved time and money the son had reasoned, and you couldn't even see the difference! But his father was furious. The boxes had already been packed and taken to the railway station, but even so the son had to retrieve them and stay up all night putting on that third coat of paint.
An alluring shortcut
Personally, I can understand why the son took the shortcut. Painting is a lot of work! But while it may have looked fine brand-spanking new, sparkling on a store shelf, a bit of wear and tear would have soon revealed the thinly-veiled undercoat.
In life, I often try to take shortcutsâanything to make the job easier right? But there are some things you simply can't skip on, because sooner or later the quality of work shines through.
I want to be a godly person, but I also love 'me' time, and sometimes I wonder if I shortcut on the godliness side so that I have more time to spend on the 'me' side. I slap on the two coats so it looks good without bothering to take the time to make sure it actually is good.
There is a saying that 'As a man thinks, so he is', but what determines a man's thought-life? That's a deep question and the answer is probably large and varied, but a simplistic answer is what goes in is (you guessed it!) going to come back out. The things we give our time, effort and attention to are the main things we'll find ourselves thinking about.
If I spend the bulk of my time doing my own thing, it's fair to assume my thinking is going to be pretty selfish. I can make a conscious decision to think about good wholesome things, but if my life is spent rushing the paint job on my spiritual disciplines so I can kick back a few drinks in the ol' me bar, it's only going to help so much.
Pursuing the right thing
To pursue wholesome thinking, which would in turn produce wholesome output, I need to make an active decision to pursue wholesome input. That's a whole lot of wholesomeness!
At the end of the day, if I want to be a godly man, it's going to require effortâlike staying back to put the third coat of paint on. Going to church each Sunday might give me a sparkling paintjob for the store shelves, but the inevitable wear and tear of life will soon show my true colours. If I haven't been investing quality time and effort throughout the week, I doubt those colours will be pretty.
Thomas Devenish lives in Hobart, Tasmania. He works as a motion designer and enjoys the diverse experiences life has to offer, from wake-boarding to curling up with a good book on a rainy day.
Thomas Devenish's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/thomas-devenish.html