Character Building and some Gutter Cleaning

Nothing says…or smells, quite like spring, then cleaning the roof gutters. This year especially has been a horrible affair!

It has been perpetually raining for the past month and we could tell that the down spouts were not functioning anywhere near necessary capacity. As I looked up at the gutters I could catch glimpses of little maple trees taking hold…not a good sign. In addition, the gutters appeared to be holding a fair amount of water, at least that’s what I assumed when I could tell a major buckle had developed along part of the guttering.

During a brief respite from the rain this weekend, I braved the wobbly extension ladder and went to work. All I can say is that I’m glad I wore gloves.

There are a few jobs in life that a person must experience at least once for their self-betterment. Some of those include; working in some form of customer service, cleaning manure from an animal stall, and I’d place high on the list cleaning muck-filled gutters and I don’t use the word muck lightly.

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What a welcoming sight that awaited me at the top of each ladder journey! 😉

The blobs of black decomposing plant material that clung to my gloves and nostrils with every scoop, brought heaving trepidation to my gag reflex. Plainly speaking it was bad…I mean threw away clothes after the job was done kind of bad, because our washing machine could not handle the mess.

As I worked my way around the house I kept asking myself…why am I submitting myself to this torture? Here are a few reasons I came up with as I shuffled up and down the ladder:

  • If the gutters break under the weight of the muck and stagnant rain water, that will cost money we don’t have.
  • I’ll have a classic, back in my day kind of stories, where I can tell my grandkids what we had to do before they had self-cleaning gutters…okay maybe I’m being a little facetious…
  • If I don’t do it no one else is going to do it for me.

This last reason struck me the hardest because it reverberates far beyond gutter cleaning.

In our lives we have the opportunity to cultivate character traits that will help us in our journeys. These character building sessions are not designed to be easy and in some cases are not very fun. Yet, who will do them for us if not ourselves?

The answer is simply no one else. We have to make the daily choices to engage in the necessary development that will help us grow. Whether that be physically, mentally, or spiritually. Growth can be unpleasant; sometimes it will feel like gutter cleaning…and that’s okay too! Anything that challenges us to grow in a positive way is worth doing!

I’ve been reflecting on a set of verses from Colossians 3:12-14 that encapsulate a few of the character traits I desire to cultivate deeper in my life:

dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.

These are character qualities that will take root in my life through focused effort on positivity, genuine faith and happiness in the gifts/blessings the Lord has provided me and my family, and finally a belief that I can grow in these qualities. It is critical we identify the character we hope to embody in our lives.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions daily:

What are the character attributes we hope to strengthen?

What experiences will help further instill that character trait into our being?

When did we last lean on one of our identified character pillars?

Building our character is intentional work that no one else can do for us…so pull on the gloves and let’s get to work! We are in this together! 🙂

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No words can describe the joy and accomplishment! Gutters – 0 v. Anthony – 1!!

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