On a recent long car journey on the way back from our holiday in the Lake District, the Lovely Mr B and I were listening to a podcast. Now this podcast, ‘Vinyl Emergency’ is not something I would have chosen to listen to (in retrospect, rather annoyingly, I came up with the great idea that as a perk of the job, the driver decides on the listening material for a journey) and I wasn’t driving!
However, much to my surprise, the guy being interviewed was really interesting and as well as being a vinyl collector was a stone mason by trade and his place of work was Westminster Abbey in London. Stone masons are incredibly talented and spend years learning their craft, it is also a trade that has been around since the earliest civilisation and it seems man has always used tools to craft things, using the most basic of tools in the past, think of the Egyptians and their pyramids or the Romans and their amazing architecture.
As he was talking about the tools he used God really brought my attention to something he said during the interview. He talked about part of his toolkit consisting of tools that had been handed onto him by another stone mason and that the old tools had been honed over time by the craftsman who previously owned them and they actually did an excellent job.
Over time the tools had been lovingly used and cared for and fit the grip of the stone mason who owned them. They were ‘scarred’ with pot marks and dents from years of being used for their intended purpose of carving stone. He talked about how he had done a long apprenticeship after college (typically 3 years now but it used to be 7), under an experienced stone mason and he talked about working closely with him at all times. When he started all he spent his time doing was ‘mixing up’ the mortar and then moved onto repairs before he was set loose crafting monuments.
He talked about how newbies coming into the trade were keen to get to create the big, impressive looking pieces when in reality they had to work their way up to them and go through years of training in actuality, before ever getting their hands on crafting a set of cherubs or something else quite grand, especially if working in somewhere as impressive and full of history as Westminster Abbey which is full of amazing sculptures and stone work. He talked about how he imagined his grandchildren coming to Westminster Abbey and seeing some of the work their grandfather had sculpted and how he would be leaving a legacy for them.
God reminded me that we are like his tools of the trade and that He is the master craftsmen. We are created for a purpose and in His hands we can be all we are meant to be. Just like the tools we become refined over time and it can leave us with marks and blemishes but that these are not something to be ashamed of but show that we are being honed for purpose and they are part of our journey. We are designed that we will live our life led by the Holy Spirit to introduce those in the world around us to Jesus and thus we leave a legacy for others to step into and to go further than we have.
Isaiah 64: 8, Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
When we are in the right hands and yielded to the master craftsmen we are capable of amazing and wonderful things for His glory. He can use imperfect tools (us) for His purposes but in His hands we can create something of beauty.
I love that God can literally speak to us through any means and I love that He spoke to me through this podcast, even though I wasn’t keen to listen to it.
Mark 4:23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
Are you open to hearing from God today?