Rounding Our Edges

” We are all rough timber…we are all; when compared to Jesus Himself, warped versions of the beautiful timber we were destined to be. “

Doug Pacheco

For those who don’t know, after two years, I have moved on from my tile gig and have begun…an apprenticeship of sorts, with my friend Matt. Matt builds homes, does renovations, tiles floors, (that’s where I come in). He does plumbing, electrical and many other things that are home improvement centered. He is really good…a master craftsman…and then… there’s me.

This morning we cut base trim for a home we are finishing up. Since both of our sanders were elsewhere, I began hand sanding some of the cut pieces. Now…if I were to give an analogy of building prowess, Matt is Michelangelo, I am little Billy in first grade with his box of crayons. I may be a little better than that, but not much. I am like builder Bob with my toy hammer…Matt looks at my tool box and tries hard to contain his laughter…He wonders why I have my rachet set on a construction framing job…but what HE doesn’t know is, I was a Tenderfoot Boy Scout and I remembered our motto…”Be Prepared!” for what…I’m not sure. Anyway, I digress.

While sanding the base trim, (I was just supposed to knock off the splinters and any rough cut areas… I began thinking how straight and square the edges of that trim was. “I’ll bet it would look better if I sanded down and rounded those edges!” I thought to myself. I could only imagine how proud Matt would be when he came back and saw how I had gone the extra mile. I was extremely proud of myself. Day two on the job and look at me! I would be building my own home soon I thought to myself.

Luckily, I had only finished my masterpiece on ONE of the base trim pieces. Matt…only 39 but VERY patient and wise for his age, looked at the piece and made a low guttural sound…smiled and said, “a…we don’t want sanded rounded edges…base trim is supposed to be straight and flat.” I smiled, turned a little red, and said, “Oh…okay!” It hadn’t occurred to me that some wood wasn’t supposed to be smoothed and rounded. And like every writer and part time teacher…I came a way with a lesson.

I think Immanuel Kant is credited for saying, “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made”. In my effort to “beautify” the base trim with rounded edges, it never occurred to me that in life, God creates us with sharp edges on purpose. We are all rough timber…we are all; when compared to Jesus Himself, warped versions of the beautiful timber we were destined to be. It is only through time, and a LOT of handling by God, by others sent by God, that the rough places are made smooth…and it usually involves some pain and lots of friction with other people. Some of our smooth edges NEVER get sanded down, because we won’t submit them to the sandpaper of the Holy Spirit.

God never destined you to remain a coarse piece of lumber thrown into the lumber yard of this earth to be eaten by termites and die. He created each of us to be a vessel of honor…to be used in His house. Expensive, hand fashioned Frames, and cups and saucers, and plates. Others he created to be glorious statues which stand as testimony to His Glory. Now…it may seem to some of us, that we were designed to be the wooden toilet seat in the outhouse, BUT THAT ISN’T TRUE!…(even if it sometimes feels true ). But, we don’t get to decide which part of the building we are designed for…the glorious thing is, that we get to be a part of God’s House at all!

It was no random decision that Jesus came into this world and became a carpenter. He knows how to choose the correct wood for the correct job. He knows where to sand and where NOT to sand. He knows how to make each of us suited for the place we are supposed to be. You are not finished yet my friend. God has you on His work bench and is still fashioning you for His purpose on this earth. Don’t jump off the work bench…he will one day be finished and you and i both will be perfect. I may not ever become a master builder like Matt, but if he doesn’t kill me first, I may get good enough to have my own tape measure…Wow! All this and Heaven too!