I’ve never been to a tailgate party, but I’m no stranger to tailgates.

Blueprints were almost as much a part of our heritage as the Good Book was. I remember my dad scanning the boring blueprint pages laid out on a pickup tailgate with a contractor or worker, sometimes by his lonesome. I was the bored kid using scraps in a pile of job site debris to make pretend guns, spears, and forts.

Maybe that was the inspiration for all the forts I built? That or the fact that it was just part of my DNA. Maybe that could also be the scapegoat for the pilfering of job sites that I used to build them.

It didn’t take long to figure out that the best part of building those flimsy forts was the building part of it. Once they were done my buddies and I didn’t have a lot of use for them. Being built in the middle of desert arroyos, (a fancy name for desert foothill washes), it also didn’t take long to figure out that the rats had plenty of use for them.

It seemed like an eternity, but it wasn’t but less than a decade later and l was standing behind a pickup truck with the tailgate down looking over blueprints. And I was still thinkin’ that calling them “blue” didn’t make a lick uh sense, since they were mostly white.

It would be impossible to put a number on the amount of time I’ve spent looking over blueprints, on a slab, tailgate, or in offices. It’s even more improbable to put the amount of days, months, or years I spent at a desk designing my own projects that would one day come to be laid out on desks, slabs, bid plan tables… and of course tailgates.

Another job we’re about to finish, designed by the kid who used to build forts in the desert. For scale the glass between the tub and shower is 12′ tall.

We have plenty of office space these days… but I prefer being outside. Meetings are a part of life now-a-days. Some of them I can’t steer outside and to the backside of a Ford, Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, or Hummer for that matter… but some of them I can.

I think about the old adage “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” That makes sense and a plan, or plans, is part of a wise process. We don’t have blueprints for our lives, but we have plans, dreams and desires.

I’ve built so many structures I couldn’t even begin to find them. They’re mostly in Arizona, but they’re in several states. Of all those structures, and all those plans, not a single one was perfect. They all had flaws. That’s part of the challenge to manage jobs and people.

I think our lives are like that. We plan, but we run into problems with the plans and how we navigate around them are how we determine our success in life. Even if our plans are perfect, at least in our mind, we aren’t the Great architect. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

I think about Noah building that massive boat. And David designing the temple, Paul making tents… and of course the Greatest Carpenter. Whatever our calling I believe our job is to do it in a manner that brings our Maker honor. What we do, who we are, has purpose. It doesn’t have to be a grand thing. It just has to be what God designed us for in order for us to be gratified in our works.

I’m no stranger to tailgates… and neither is God Almighty… He’s with us wherever we are and whatever we do. And I’m pretty sure he loves the smell of churned up dirt and fresh cut lumber.