Raphael happened by a couple days ago, unexpectedly. I was outside watering and planting a couple more clearance perennials, doing what is familiar, comfortable, and beautiful. Raphael immediately asked what progress had I made with the inside of the house. I admitted I the workload inside was overwhelming me again, and that I'd even had doubts I would ever be able to finish.
He took a look inside. I had plumbed the drain and vent system for the bathroom sink. I had re-nailed the 10 or so electric outlet boxes to the studs on the wall we made new, level, and plumb. But that was it--not much to show for the work effort. I also explained I only the day before was able to retrieve photos of where the electrical wires needed to be re-threaded to the outlet boxes....
Raphael encouraged me to get that wiring finished, and he'd send Francesco later in the day to help me hang drywall on the high, vaulted ceiling wall. So I got to work on the project and encountered obstacles. My drills were not powerful enough to drill 1" holes through the double and triple header plate--the 2x4's to which the top of the wall studs are secured. While I was able, with much effort and patience, to drill holes through the vertical studs and thread the wires through them, the remaining was beyond possible given my drill's limitations.
Francesco showed up just when I was at the end of what I could accomplish. Four hours later, we had the drywall installed--up to the top 15-inches or so. That last bit needs to be boxed-out because a worker hired last fall put in a board supporting the vaulted ceiling joists--crooked! But, it seemed as if that was something I could build the next day, as well as to finish off the remaining lower walls needing drywall, plus get the seams taped.
I awoke yesterday with goals in mind. After some necessary watering (hot in this desert-like dryness), I started to hang more drywall. Then I discovered that another stud in yet another wall, was not plumb. It took an hour or more to remedy that situation.
Then when I climbed the tallest ladder to attend to the area needing to be boxed out around the crooked board running the length of the room up near the ceiling line, I discovered yet more obstacles. The man last fall had not nailed the supporting joist wall into any joists below. Nails were merely driven into areas not stable and not penetrating solid support joists or the header plate.
While these details and jargon may be unfamil- iar and tedious, they reflect required but frustra- ting, time- absorbing efforts.
Next, I turned to another task--that of removing a huge piece of drywall, unscrewing each screw, in order to shim it out better, plus raise it from the sub-floor a half-inch. (I had not known to do so a few weeks ago when my daughter helped me install it.) The shimming effort ran into some problems, though, requiring yet more time, only to realize shimming out would not necessarily help. But at least I got that piece of drywall hung properly and re-screwed.
I then had to remove a top piece of drywall--quite heavy--but I managed to get it leveraged down to the floor where it remains, leaning against another wall. I will need help lifting it up to re-hang. For that piece, some shimming at the top is going to be essential.
I lost track of time in all this effort, tedious as it was. I noticed the sun shifting and the room heating.
Hours of prayer of the meditative type had accompanied the work process, but weariness and grumpiness led me to checking the time on my little flip-phone. I had but another hour or two of light enough to work!
The day was spent! I had not accomplished even one full aspect of my three-pronged goal! I yet had a major obstacle to figure and correct--not even a clue yet as to the remedy.
And, I had lost track of the Order of the Present Moment--that order that Jesus Himself had told me was my "Order", some 18 years ago. And that St. Joseph is the Patron of that Order, and whatever I happen to be wearing in the present moment is my "habit."
Suddenly, it came clear once again. Do not establish set goals or expecta- tions of what I will accomp- lish in the next hour, day, month, or year. We do not know the day or hour, after all. Yes, I can keep the desire to make progress and have a general hope of what might be. But to set a goal of what I will accomplish in any future of earth time, is not a done deal.
So it is with my soul, my spiritual progression. The whole point is that in the Order of the Present Moment, only that moment can be effected and affected. The moments build upon moments, in a flow of God's will and progression...not mine.
I had become far too ensconced in what exactly I thought I would get done, and then what the next day, and the next, with a goal that by Saturday I would be installing the wood flooring and soon after bringing in the cabinets to install. But no, there are some hurdles to clear first, and a main obstacle to my progression was the very fact that it was I who set an end-point-in-time of some set, temporal accomplishments. God did not accommodate my set plans.
Instead, His Real Presence reminded me of the Order of the Present Moment and of His plans. He planned for a couple phone calls that took time, but they also gave me more people to pray about. He planned for me to learn anew that the temporal is a soul-teaching aid, not a goal in itself. The goal is to glorify God in all things, and to pray, and to love, to learn to love.
Today I am going to do some manual labor. I will put in the prayerful time and focus, and whatever is accomplished is that which is accomplished. I will not shirk nor skimp with my efforts, yet I will not assume this or that is going to unfold easily or be finished by the time I must stop working. The spinal headache and increased bodily pain due to yesterday's efforts and frustrations, are factored into the present moments of this day, moment by moment.
It is all God. It is being reminded of the Order of the Present moment, and that in each present moment, He is in me--and I am to be in Him. I am not in a manual labor, self-set goal, good as goals may be if the goal is glorifying God and remaining in His love. Then the temporal goals flow from His will, not from my intellect or my time frame. It is all God--the goals, the time, the unfolding of the present moment.