Working with wood is something I really enjoy. Wood has a distinctive smell and feel, natural, organic, and fresh yet old. Bringing the wood to life – the colors, grain, and special marks – is an experience all in itself. There is only one problem; I really do not know what I am doing most of the time!
Spending time with my Father is a treat. When we are in the shop, I become a young apprentice. I receive instructions and insights with the freedom to choose my own direction. Last night the experience went long into the night.
The piece of wood was and is unusual. Obviously, I have no idea of what kind of wood it is; even Dad is not sure! The coffee colored wood has an unknown past, having hid in a friend’s attic for at least thirty years. The grain, on the long side and even at the end, is distinct, beautiful, and puzzling all at the same time. The flaws are few, however they ran deep.
We marked the edges, trimmed away the excess, and mounted it on the machine. Initially we thought our turning had little hope. The chunks flew. The odd shape drove us towards an unknown destination, yet there was no need to turn back. Everything seemed to make sense, even at the time.
My father’s interventions were key engagements. I always felt that the alternatives were ones of my choosing, yet my father was right there beside me. Even before I was ready, he was encouraging me to run with it.
Your Father, and mine, is always with us. He gave us a model to follow, a pattern that shaped the world. His advise to us is clear. “Jesus did it; now you do it!” (Romans 15.7) I know that I often feel uncertain about which way to go, so He is always there. We just need to listen for His voice.
Last night we turned a unique bowl, beautiful and distinctly unique. The Father wants to bring out our beauty and design; will we become His apprentice?