One morning, my wife turned to me and said: “I want you to build a kids playhouse out of wooden pallets… like this.”
Then she showed me a picture of a very-well-constructed playhouse from the internet and, effectively, gave me that look that said, ‘No arguments.’
“I don’t have the skills. I am not a carpenter,” I pleaded. “I don’t have the necessary tools. This needs a jigsaw. I don’t have a jigsaw.”
The reality was yes, I didn’t have the tools and, as a journalist by trade, the skills. Most of all, however, I didn’t have the will. I just didn’t want to do it.
But my fate was sealed. Already my wife had instructed a local tradesman that I would collect six wooden pallets from his yard within the next half hour.
I kicked up a fuss, but I picked up the pallets and set to work on the job, jigsaw or no jigsaw. During construction I gouged my leg on protruding nails, I heartily banged my thumb with a claw-hammer having ‘missed’ my target, I cricked my back while trying to rescue falling pallets, and swore and cursed throughout the process, undoing any neighbourly reputation of being that ‘nice’ Christian family next door.
But I did it, and pictured are the results. Yes, it’s hardly The Shard, but it is fit for purpose.
Interestingly, the Bible is full of reluctant characters with little or no skills at all. Moses pointed to his stammer when God asked him to speak to his people and then insisted that someone else do the job, Jonah was absolutely resolute that he did not want to go to Nineveh to preach the Lord’s message but ended up there anyway, and Jeremiah wasn’t exactly forthcoming when he was asked to be a prophet of the nations, claiming, ‘I do not know how to speak’.
The thing is, hardly any of us have the tools, skills, or the willing, but God uses us anyway. He doesn’t mind. Only we mind. He knows he can use us in spite of our weakness.
So, next time when you face an uphill task you might think about stepping out in faith, having a go and try not to worry about failing. If you do, you’ll find the rewards, not only on your back garden, but also in your heart too.