Lesson From Woodworking

I have recently began to get into woodworking more and more over the past year or so.  It started off kinda slow but its slowly picking up with more business and projects to help keep me busy during my free time.  Although, I haven’t been working with wood for too long compared to others, I have seen some great strides of improvement in my own work.  During this time, I have learned several things that improve the quality of a project as well as to help avoid problems along the way.  These same lessons I have learned can easily be applied to a Christian and his walk with God.  Here is a list of things that I have learned and how it applies to us!

  1. Measure Twice, Cut Once – This is a lesson that you will learn pretty quick!  It’s easy to get in a hurry, take a quick measurement, and make your cut just to find out that you made it a 1/2 inch too short and it will no longer work for what you needed it for.  Too often, God’s children make a quick decision without any serious thinking or counsel, but at that point there isn’t too much you can do about it except learn from your mistake and move on.
  2. Having A Plan Will Result In Less Waste – On my first couple projects, I simply had an idea in my head for something I wanted to build, went out to my shop, and starting building it one piece at a time.  The problem with that is I found myself going back and forth from different tools and making several inefficient cuts that resulted in wasted wood scraps that I had no use for.  If I would have taken the time to see what all I needed to cut and done it all I once, I would have saved a good amount of time and materials!  When serving God, it’s important to make sure we have a plan so that we aren’t wasting our effort or our time!  Be prepared and have a schedule for things that need to get done!  Chances are, if you don’t have a time set aside for prayer each day, you won’t pray each day.  Make a schedule and stick to it!
  3. Mistakes Can Always Be Fixed – Drill a hole in the wrong spot? Fill it with wood putty, sand it down and move on.  When working with wood, you can always fix the mistakes you make along the way.  The result won’t be as nice as it would have (stained wood filler doesn’t really match the stained wood), but it can still be fixed to make it usable for it’s original purpose.  The same is true with us!  No matter how many times you mess up in life and no matter how far you get into sin, God is always able and willing to use you!  Now, there will be some spiritual scares from the sin, but you can still be used to perform some great things for God!
  4. Mortise And Tenon Joints Last Much Longer Than Screws – A mortise and tenon joint is when you cut two pieces of wood so that one can slide inside the other and be held together with a tight fit and wood glue.  This process takes awhile to master and certainly takes more time that than it does to screw the boards together, but the end result is well worth it!  Screws certainly do the job in the short term, but over the coarse of 30-50 years, the screws will lose their grip on the wood and slowly start to pull out of their holes.  The same is not true for a mortise and tenon joint!  It takes longer to do but you will end up with a piece of furniture that can be passed down from generation to generation without any loss of quality!  Christians are typically looking for the “get rich quick” scheme in their walk with God.  They go to church for a couple weeks, read their Bible every other day, and expect to walk with God like Enoch did.  A good relationship takes time to build.  If you take the time to spend time with God, read His word, and serve Him regularly, you will have a relationship with God that you can pass down from generation to generation.
  5. Most Pieces Are Remembered By How They Are Finished – A quote I have heard a good amount of since I began woodworking is, “It’s all about the finish.”  You can make an average piece of furniture but with a great finish (sanding, staining and/or sealant) it will be desired and draw people attention.  But, you can also take your time and create a beautiful piece of furniture, but mess up the finish (bubbles in the polyurethane, blotchy staining, rushed sanding, etc) and not too many people will be interested in it.  This goes two ways for our lives…. First, if you messed up alot in your life and have had a miserable past, it’s never too late get your life turned around and finish it out right!  But the opposite is also true!  It’s sad to see the older generation start to get rid of some of their standards and convictions that they held to for so long.  Preachers are getting more liberal as they get older to avoid controversy and draw bigger crowds and churches that once stood strong are taking Baptist off their sign and bringing in rock bands to blend more with the world….  Most people are remembered for how they finished!  Make sure you finish right!

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