Years ago I developed a reputation for having the right tool at the right time to do the required job. In fact, our kids, and many others, call me when they need something and I am usually able to put my hands on what they request. I have a great memory as to where I store stuff and what will, or will not, be useful in the future. Every now and then I get stumped, but its rare.
I learned this from my grandfather. Grandpa had a basement full of tools and all kinds of knick knacks that he used to fix machines or improvise for not having exactly the right tool. He never really threw things out, but its wasn’t like he was disorganized. He was one of those people who had a place for everything and everything was in its place. I admired that trait and somewhere along the line, I adopted it myself. Not only did I inherit his tools, several of which he made himself, but I have added my own tools along the way as well.
As recently as yesterday morning, I had an unusual need. Early this summer, we had several motion detectors installed to turn on our existing flood lights in the event there is activity in our back yard. I am not good on ladders – in fact, I am scared of heights – and our son, Andrew, has been kind enough to come over and make adjustments from time to time as we have tried to optimize our home security.
I can reach most of the lights but one in particular is difficult to get to and a small adjustment earlier this week unbalanced the system. I was hesitant, even embarrassed, to ask Andrew to come back again. I thought to myself that it shouldn’t be too tough to make a minor adjustment but I was wrong.
I just wasn’t able to get on the ladder, lean over the second floor balcony railing and reach over my head. It just wasn’t going to happen. Sure, part of it is my recovering knee, but I didn’t feel secure. So… as I am prone to do, I took a mental inventory of everything we own and suddenly came up with an idea.
Many years ago, when Janet and I first moved to Indiana, we had a wood burning fireplace and I bought a pair of log tongs to tend to the fire – but in our current home, our fireplaces have gas logs and electric starters. In other words, I don’t have a use for those tongs anymore, but, for some reason, I kept them. Sure enough, I found them in the garage and was able to use them to reach over my head and make an adjustment to the motion detector. It was like using an incredibly long pliers – they worked just great. I could never have anticipated that my log tongs could ever have been put to use this way.
Now, the corrections are made, we didn’t have to bother Andrew and all is well with the world. But this whole scenario has reminded me that when it comes to “stuff” I try not to waste anything. In this case, a thirty-five year old tool was indispensable for completing my recent project.
God expects the same from us today when he gives us an assignment – even though the tools are a little different. Paul tells us that we have the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are told in Galatians 5:22-23, “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” My encouragement this evening is that God has equipped us with all the tools necessary to advance His kingdom. My prayer is that He will continue to teach us how to fully utilize them. After all, they are the best tools in the world. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…