The age old saying of ‘a workman never blames his tools’
I was once in Ukraine helping put together a little house for a friends camp for orphans. I had never really done anything like it before. Four men were letting us help. I had hammered in a few nails when I made a huge mistake. I couldn’t blame my tools because I had hit the nail in the wrong way. I could excuse my mistake with my inexperience or my uncoordinated nature, but not the tools. One of the builders walked over, made an ‘oh yeop’ kind of sound, pulled the nail out and hammered it back in correctly. Then he handed me another nail and pointed to the wood as if to say ‘try again’.
I played indoor hockey for every summer from the age of 13 till I turned 18. During that time, i went through three sticks. I scored less than 10 goals in that time, but I saved hundreds. I learned very quickly where on the field I should be. I didn’t always know what to do after I got there. But I was always there. I have had coaches who yell, coaches who know little about that game and coaches who championed that skill in me so that I could use it to stop even more goals.
I started playing guitar seriously at the age of 14. I have played many shows with untuned guitars and either acted like it wasn’t by grinning and bearing it or occasionally I have stopped playing completely in the middle of songs to rectify the tuning. I have played in bands where other people have been out of tune from myself, when harmonies have been a little off, when people don’t know the songs at all or when amps are turned too low or too high. Once we even played at a music festival we weren’t invited to. We just set up and started playing. Our songs connected with people in ways that made the instruments irrelevant.
I have had a phone in my pocket for probably 80% of my waking life since I turned 16. Phones keep me safe, they tell me things, they keep me in touch with loved ones, they entertain me and teach me and correct me and plan my day. But the amount of times my battery has died just as I needed it most. As I receive an important SMS. Five minutes before I have to check-in to that Ryan air flight online. in the middle of skyping my parents etc etc.
I have been in multiple car crashes but never been at fault. I have broken bones, I have been sick for long periods, awake for long periods, alone for long periods. I have been addicted to things and reliant too heavily on money, and its funny how often I have the greatest times when I trust not my tools.
The moments of laughter that completely take over your body. The view from the top of a mountain that you just walked up with a bunch of friends. The shivers down your spine as you hear someone else sing.
We have been blessed to be in a world created by a lover and a genius.
Lean into Him and not into that which he has made for us.