We are all crafted differently and specifically for intended purposes. If a carpenter has a hammer that he uses often, manufactured to uphold many blows of everyday carpentry, is it doing its job better than the specially designed screwdriver, formed to only disengage the daintiest of screws, that he only uses once a month? Are the hammer and the screwdriver not both doing what they were created for?
When the screwdriver is not being used, should it volunteer to be used as a hammer? Or should it rest in its place until the master carpenter needs to remove a tiny screw? If the screwdriver, desiring to be used more often, lends itself as a hammer it would become useless for its intended purpose – as it would most likely break. Then when the carpenter needs to remove a screw, the screwdriver would be tied up and wounded – trying to do a job it was never created for. Thus the screwdriver becomes useless to the carpenter in its own attempt at usefulness.
Can we not learn something from this metaphor? It was not the amount of times the carpenter used the screwdriver that made it a valuable asset. It was its availability when needed along with its ability to do exactly what it was designed for that made the screwdriver useful and valuable to the carpenter. I wonder what it was that drove the screwdriver to act like a hammer? Did it feel unproductive only being used on occasion, despite its ability to perform its purpose well? Did the screwdriver spend its time comparing itself to other tools instead of accepting its own importance to the carpenter? Did it not believe the carpenter purchased it, despite its costly price, because he delighted in its own unique form, function, and abilities? Was the screwdriver so zealous to help the carpenter that it tried in its own strength to be something it was not – something it thought was more useful? Did the screwdriver fail to recognize its own value because it was too busy looking at all the other tools in the toolkit instead of looking at the carpenter and how he used all of the tools to achieve his desired result?
To see each tool played a unique role in the completed work would have been beneficial to the screwdriver. If only it had been able to learn the priceless lesson of resting in the carpenter’s toolbox and enjoying its place in the set, it would not have broken off its handle trying to be a hammer – rendering itself out of commission until repaired.
After seeing where it went wrong, the screwdriver can learn another valuable lesson. The carpenter could have discarded it and used another screwdriver, but instead he put forth the care to repair its broken parts. Once the screwdriver was built back up to strength, the carpenter could use it for its intended purpose. After reaching its breaking point, the screwdriver hopes to never try to be a hammer, or any other tool, ever again. It needs to be exactly what the carpenter purchased it as and realize the carpenter does not expect it to function as an every day hammer. If he needed another hammer he would have bought one. Instead he purchased the screwdriver to do a job that the hammer could not do.
We, like the screwdriver or the hammer, are most useful to God when we are available to do the work He designed us for – by accepting who we are in Him – not comparing ourselves to others – by resting in Him and being okay with stillness. When we can silence the voice that tells us we are useless when inactive, and enjoy the quiet times of rest as gifts of grace, we will come to understand life is often more simple than we make it out to be, and less arduous than we previously thought. We will see God work wonders through us in ways we never imagined, therefore realizing He knows more about our capabilities than we know ourselves. It’s the screwdriver’s availability and the way the carpenter uses it that gets the job done. We all have a purpose in life, something God intends to use us for that will glorify His Kingdom.
I pray that I will not be as the screwdriver was – caught up trying to be used every day, in ways it was never intended for – found broken when its master sought its use. Lord, may I learn to cease all striving and be only who you created me to be. May I accept the truth that you love me as I am. Help me to accept that my areas of individuality are because you molded me that way. Let me not run from my weaknesses, but allow you to be glorified through them. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.