I heard a great lesson once at my kids’ school. The teacher was talking about how certain tools are created to do certain tasks. He had a few apples that he needed to slice – the first tool he pulled out was a drill. He drilled holes through the apple, but really just made a mess, not accomplishing his task because he didn’t have the proper tool. The next apple, he tried to slice with an ax. He wound up, raised the tool high over his head and gave it all that he had. But when the ax crashed down upon the apple, it didn’t slice. Even though he had tried as hard as he could, it smashed into apple mush, blowing apple bits everywhere and creating a big mess.
That’s how I feel a lot of the time. I try as hard as I can, giving it everything that I’ve got. But what if I’m the wrong tool for the job? Maybe that isn’t what God has designed for me to do. And in the process I am making a big mess of things. Apple schmear.
Next, he picked up another apple along with a nifty apple corer/slicer. In one simple movement the apple was sliced clean through. Crisp and delicious.
Using the right tool for the job makes all the difference in the world. When we are using our gifts and talents in a way that God has intended for us, things are crisp and delicious. If we are trying to fight against God’s plan for our lives, things can get a bit messy.
If I am an ax, and not an apple slicer, I need to be putting my energy into splitting firewood, not apples. Creating light and warmth, not apple schmear. You may be an apple slicer – slice them beautifully. Create delicious fruit. Your work will come easy, and so will mine.