Sometimes zeal can get you into trouble. I once organized a project to replace the roof on the home of our beloved visitation pastor, Clyde Afman. I knew the skilled men would need to be there to build the new roof. I recruited young men and older boys to do the work of tearing off the old roof.
I organized the young men in teams that would work for two hours so we would be able to work with energy all the time and keep up a swift pace. The idea was to remove the old roof, repair the damage, and replace the shingles all on one Saturday. This would save the pastor hundreds of dollars.
All went better than planned. It was a beautiful day. The young men showed up on time and began to tear into the roof. Jim Goorhouse brought donuts and humor. The second and third shifts of young men came as scheduled. Each group tore off huge sections of roof. Crews on the ground cleaned up as we went along. Wesley who was only about six begged to get on the roof so we let him on for a few minutes. Cair Purcey, who is now with the Lord, got up there and helped out and he was in his eighties at the time.
Organization is not my greatest strength. We did, however, have the roof off down to the bare wood right on time. Looking back now maybe I was a little proud of myself. My self-satisfied pride was just a little premature. I was in for a bit of an humbling.
It seemed that the very second the last shingle was torn off the roof the sky darkened and a huge storm blew in from the west over the house. It rained hard and steady for twenty-five or thirty minutes. We had only one or two small tarps with us. We called neighbors, we ran to the store, we did all we could to get the roof covered and avoid water damage to the house. We were able to cover all the living area of the house with tarps, but we were unable to get enough tarp to cover the garage area. We sat in the garage and watched the water pour through the roof into the finished garage.
We prayed fervently for the rain to stop but it kept raining until all the drywall in the garage was ruined. When the rain finally slackened the sun came out and the day was perfect to complete the job. By evening the job was done and it looked perfect… from out at the road anyway.
A few weeks later we scheduled another Saturday morning to repair and replace the drywall in Pastor Afman’s garage, so all is well and I learned some things. Zeal is a powerful and necessary thing. It’s also a good idea to be sure you have donuts, coffee, and plenty of tarps before you start, even if the sky looks clear. Zeal without planning can be a little embarrassing sometimes.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn
April 5, 2004