The Object Lesson.

This weekend I attended a training event with a handful of other men. We were all connected by a dear man in his 80s who has been investing his retired years in the hearts of younger men daily. A couple of months ago I noticed what he was doing and thought, “This is what I hope to be doing in Italy.” I told him that and he said Wednesday mornings he could meet if I was available. So, that’s what we had been doing up until this weekend. He’d been doing this with all these other men, too.

Shortly before we packed up and headed back home, our friend gave us an assignment. It was an object lesson in the strictest sense. He held several fudge sickle sticks in his hands and asked us to pick one. They each had an object written on the stick and we were supposed to go outside and meditate on that object and make a lesson out of it.

Mine said “Hammer”. Reading this word on my fudge sickle stick, I wondered what I would say about it. I have friends who use hammers alot, and maybe they were better equipped to do this.

Then it came to me: A hammer is a simple tool when you look at it, but can be very powerful. Anyone who has tools has a hammer. Until recently, I didn’t have one in the house at all. We had a little one and lost it somewhere, and honestly I hadn’t been looking for it. I don’t do many fix-up jobs.

To be honest, most of my life I’ve wanted to be like a hammer. Powerful. Useful. Someone essential to another person’s toolbox. But, I lacked the confidence to see myself that way. My dad is very handy, or at least he has always seemed fearless in the pursuit of fixing the problem. Growing up I really wasn’t interested. So I didn’t learn his fearlessness.

But now, I think about Zach, my 9-year-old son who needs the same thing I needed as a boy. He seems as uninterested as I was at that age. He doesn’t know it yet but as he grows his heart will develop a masculine desire to be like a hammer. God has put this little boy under my charge.

The hammer is gripped firmly, and its power really depends on the power of the  one using it. The aim of the one using it. And, the skill of the one using it. This makes me think of what God is doing in me as a man. He has me in his grip, and I’m there fastened tightly to Him. I’m actually like an extension of Him as long as He holds me there. And, in His might he is using me for His glory. With impeccable aim, He’s sending me out where He wants me to go in the world to accomplish His plan. With His great skill, He is making something of me that I quite honestly couldn’t think possible.

The truth is, as God’s Hammer, I’m called to be something my human father couldn’t call me to be. I’m God’s Hammer, in the building up of my family. My wife. My children. My marriage. And more specifically, the man my son will become. Now, he plays Minecraft all day and doesn’t like to run. Now, he seems like an easy target for his sisters. But, what will he become? It’s up to me as God’s Hammer in his life to equip him for manhood.

This was a wonderful meditative exercise in my opinion. And, it surprised me, too that God could use a fudge sickle stick to draw me closer to Him in thought and feeling. We had a great weekend of learning. I’m so glad I went.


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