Working with wood can force one to release long held truths. I intuitively knew from my earliest days that nails and screws were the strongest ways of holding two pieces of wood together. I have no idea where I gathered this fact. In many ways, I know, now, that this is myth. There are a many different methods of bringing two pieces of wood together. Nails and screws, while effective, do not always bring the strongest results.
My confidence in my intuition does not always come from truisms. Myths, long held beliefs, and my tradition all shape the knowledge I hold within my heart and mind. Far too often, I refuse to learn. Frequently, I am not open to new knowledge. There are times I acknowledge a new insight only to turn back moments later. It is as if yesterday’s mindset is more accurate than the present.
Slowly I am learning things new. I am becoming more patient with my creations, letting glues and joints take on the heavy lifting. My use of screws and nails is more focused and limited. As a result the quality and strength of my work is, on the margin, improving! Now if I can only do something about the person behind the work.
God suggests we take a similar approach. We can learn and release yesterday, even when it comes to our perceptions of God. “This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, the God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can't get up; they're snuffed out like so many candles: forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history.” (Isaiah 43.16-18) Let yourself rest is the present, open to the Spirit, ready to act.
Today I can step into the shop and my life. I can learn, even when it is painful. I can grow, even when things seem impossible. I can act, even when uncertainty fills my vision. I am free – for, with, and because of God.
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