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Choosing the Right Tools

Lately I’ve been thinking that sometimes life is simpler if you are trying to use the right tools for the job.  Or it is not simple when using the wrong tools.  Such as like trying to keep sugar in a colander vs. keeping it in a jar; or say using a piece of twine to connect the sound vs. a sound cable…so those are extremes, but sometimes we try to make sense of our life by trying to force something to fit or work that is completely wrong for the situation or problem. In a God view context this might be trying to “fix” something by applying what worked for us to someone else’s life, but we haven’t taken time to figure out that “fix” for them would be like keeping sugar in a colander…or perhaps it is our own life situation that we’re trying to fix by applying a solution that worked for someone else…but in reality it is wrong, no better than twine vs. a sound cable.  If there is a situation that is not working, perhaps we can take a step back, check on what we’re trying to use to fix it and see if God might have a different solution, a different tool, a different way to see the situation to help bring order to chaos.   

Recently we had a part of our house that somehow had been turned into the room where things “collected” but unfortunately it became less organized and functional and was quickly becoming more frustrating for me.  So, one day I decided that we were going to change that by putting in something that would help us organize this area.  Storage shelves, specifically some industrial ones, seemed to be the right approach, this isn’t my horse trailer, so thankfully I didn’t suggest saddle racks or something that would have just made things worse.  But no, industrial storage shelves, we found them, chose the larger 86” high ones and brought them home in the box apparently ready to assembly with only a hammer. 

But when we tried to put them together general chaos ensued…not because we didn’t follow instructions per se…eventually, but because an essential piece / part had been left out by the manufacturer…the design essentially failed to properly connect the bottom portion of these shelves with the upper portion.  That is basically two 43” sections of a shelf that were not properly held together.  And, as one is inclined to do, we tried to force this to work for perhaps a bit longer than one might wish upon looking back, but eventually we stopped and took a step back and reached out to the manufacturers for the missing “couplers”.  Guess what, once they arrived the shelf project went perfectly…the right tool or piece for the job made complete order out of a situation.  God can be the same way…we ask him into a situation or a relationship, include him for the big parts of the conversation, but maybe just maybe we need him to be in every part, because a tiny little part…say a little 4” strip of metal folded properly is the difference between a heap of metal parts that won’t stay together vs. a fully functional shelf.  The results without this little piece was a total disaster, with the right piece it all worked.  God might be the right piece to ask into a situation to help it work out as it should, for me it is a reminder to ask him into every aspect of life, both big and small.    

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Psalm 23:2-4 NIV)

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