Sitting in my shop is a machine. It does not look exciting. Most look at it briefly, turning away to something more interesting. It stands, slightly dusty, with a partially scraped piece of wood on it. The design is old. It is tried and tested. To the casual observer, there is no excitement. Comments usually run along the following lines.
“I used to use something like that. Is it a wood lathe?”
“I remember using a lathe in college. We had fun.”
“Do they still use these things? The last time I saw one I was in high school.”
I have to admit that the machine’s design is classic (old). The core components are industrial strength (not exciting). The machine’s use is also limited (single purpose).
A recent visitor challenged my defensive approach to the casual observer. His words were very different.
“I used to turn when I was young. Life took me in a different direction. As a result, I did not touch a lathe for years. I recently tried turning again. I discovered how much I enjoy the work and the process of revealing what a piece of wood has to say.”
His words continue to bounce around in my head. Yes, the machine looks may have an old design but it is state of the art. That fact is not a critical driver. Yes, the techniques of turning have been around for a long time, even as new techniques emerge. This is still not a crucial point. The concept turns on a single word, experience.
A wisdom father “opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that ‘this Jesus I’m introducing you to is that Messiah.’” (Acts 17.3)
Life will open itself to us today. We can run it through yesterday’s filters or we can engage. We can rely on our perceptions or we can let the Spirit introduce us to what we need to experience.