As I type this article, I am suffering from the cumulative effect of having stayed up very late for the past several evenings. What have I been doing, you may ask, to keep me up so late? Mary Lynn and I re-wallpapered the living room this past week and we have been moving around furniture and rearranging how we live to prepare for some new living room furniture that we will be getting this coming week. The only major piece of furniture that I can recall ever having purchased in our married life is the blue couch that is now sitting in our office and so it has been a long wait for us to have such things. This was also the very first home redecorating project that we have undertaken together in the first 15 years of marriage. (I can already hear the men saying, What a blessing! and hear the women saying, What a shame!) So we are both duly exhausted from having completed this project this past week and we still have much work to do in rearranging the sleeping quarters for the boys and getting Eddie out of his baby bed and Austin into his own room and etcetera.
However, looking back at the project, it seems that it has been a good experience and I thought I would share a few lessons learned. First, you’ve got to remove the old before you can put on the new. We spent several hours simply taking off the old wallpaper before we even thought about putting up the new wallpaper. In addition to that, we appropriately prepared the surface of the wall so that the new wallpaper would stick better. God told Jeremiah: See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant (Jeremiah 1:10). Jeremiah had to root out, pull down, and destroy before he could build and plant. There’s a principle that’s true for wallpaper and godly living both!
Second, a healthy dose of patience goes a long way toward hanging wallpaper. When that stuff gets wet, it’s heavy and it also goes wherever it touches initially. Then you’ve got to peel it off again and retry until you get it right. This involved several different communication strategies between Mary Lynn and I several of which sent us in various different directions initially, but after the first five sheets were hung, we were able to develop a nice rhythm to putting the stuff up. Life is like that too. New things tend to frustrate us and cause us to rethink our situation, but with a little patience we can soon develop a successful rhythm. James said, But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:4).
Finally, a good straight edge can solve a number of difficult problems. We measured, cut, hung, and cut some more and we needed a good straight edge for each step involved in the process. Of course, a straight edge is nothing more than a correct standard. God gives us the correct standard in His word and it is up to us to measure and cut our lives along that standard so that our lives turn out right and we don’t make a bigger mess than when we started. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Who’d of thought that hanging wallpaper could be so spiritual?