From Prison to Pleasure

Canyon Man (see May 21st post) has turned into Paint Man — and he’s not thrilled about the new persona. You see, Don hates to paint. But since he knows he needs to take advantage of the break between summer school and fall semester, he’s doing what needs to be done.

To make the task a little more bearable, he split it up. Last summer he did the trim work so this summer the rest of the task awaited him. I’m not sure why he dislikes painting so much. I think maybe it just bores him. The other day he told me, “I hate to paint. A slug can paint.” Maybe he thinks a guy like him — a Canyon Man — shouldn’t have to trade in his pack and hiking boots for a can of paint :)

Yesterday as he started his fourth day of painting, his complaints got a little more dramatic. “I feel like I’m in prison… I ought to be wearing black and white…” he grumbled. Sticking with the prison analogy, later in the day he told me he was a “lifer”. Said he’d probably be painting in heaven one day — painting the pearly gates. Of course, I’ve been responding with “good griefs” to most of his silliness, but with this last one, I told him if he ends up painting in heaven, somehow he will like it there :)

We all have certain things we don’t like to do, don’t we? Sometimes it’s just a routine task we grow weary of doing all the time, but other times it’s an out of the ordinary thing — like Don’s painting. It might not even be work related. It might just be attending a social function or an event of some sort. And how about those dreaded dentist and doctor appointments? I don’t know if anyone likes those.

People in Bible times also had to do tasks they didn’t want to do. Slavery was a fact of life then, and the apostle Paul actually addressed some of his exhortations in Colossians to slaves — a group of people who must have been continually faced with this problem. Paul told them “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Col. 3:23). Excellent advice for anyone, isn’t it?

So here’s the challenge to us all. Next time we dread doing something — and it can be something as simple as grocery shopping or as difficult as being kind to an enemy — let’s remember Paul’s words and decide to do it as if we’re doing it for the Lord. Puts a whole new spin on it, doesn’t it? It might even transform Don’s painting from prison to pleasure :) Anything need a new spin in your life?


  1. I don’t mind cleaning house – the first time. But with two kids, I sometimes feel less like the mom and more like the maid. ;-) I’ll keep your reminder in mind. Thanks!

  2. Cheryl, Keith wants to know why there isn’t a picture of you out their painting. :)

  3. Renae, you’re right — kids make a difference when it comes to keeping a house clean. It definitely gets easier when they fly the coop :)

    Debbie, tell Keith “thanks a lot” for bringing that up :) Somebody’s gotta stay clean to keep the drink and food brigade going :) Though it’s mainly drinks and ice cream sandwiches in this heat! Seriously, though, I’ve got lots of writing projects that need my attention so am trying to keep my nose to that grindstone.

  4. That’s a new one, a slug can paint. I thought a monkey with a pencil can paint!

    Just tell Dad painting can be like cutting the grass. Isn’t it nice to see the newly-mowed row of grass cut down nice and neat next to the row of tall, scraggly grass? When you paint a section, it looks so nice and neat compared to the old, faded section. It can be fun to watch something be transformed!

  5. Cheryl, drinks are important in the heat for sure. It wasn’t that long ago I brought Keith a drink when he was doing yard work and he said “who are you and what did you do with my wife”. :) From his comment you can deduce I have not had a history of bringing him cold drinks. I’m trying to do better, though!

  6. Hey all, Don is enjoying reading the comments :) He was glad to see his famous “monkey with a pencil” line repeated, Kristin. And Debbie, I thought he was never going to quit laughing over the comment Keith made about “who are you and what did you do with my wife”. I imagine he’ll be retelling that in class this fall — and embellishing it to boot! :)

Leave a Comment